In March of 2022 St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Red Deer saw the need to bring the greater Red Deer and area community together to assist new Ukrainian families arriving in Central Alberta. A call was put out to local churches, government officials, organizations, and social agencies which led to the establishment of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee. The committee is led by Fr. Jim Nakonechny and is comprised of members of the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Deer Park Alliance Church, Red Deer Ladder Day Saints, St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, the Red Deer Public Library, Viva-Deli, Knights of Columbus, St. Vladimir UCWLC, Catholic Social Services, and CARE (Central Alberta Refugee Effort). Members from all these churches and organizations work collectively on the following subcommittees: Selection (purchasing plane tickets for Ukrainians to fly to Canada); In Kind Donation (collecting, sorting, and distributing donations); Family Supports (assisting families with government programs); Accommodations (finding host families and rental properties for new families); and Fundraising.
Through the efforts of all our committee members we have purchased airline tickets for 34 Ukrainians and settled them in Red Deer; collected a warehouse full of bedding, towels, toys, bicycles, and household items; a church hall full of clothing; welcome boxes & backpacks distributed through Viva-Deli; a weekly Ukrainian Women’s support group; and funds to assist Ukrainian displaced families with medical expenses and groceries.
As of June, Central Alberta has seen the arrival over 140 displaced persons, approximately 40 families to Central Alberta. The Ukrainian Displaced Persons Planning Committee has become the main source of aid and information for new Ukrainian families as they arrive to Central Alberta. For more information about our work please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/437070631085149