A Ukrainian refugee in Carlton Place, Ontario. Call on the town to write Christmas cards for Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines of the war.
Olga Ialovenko arrived in Canada in May to flee war in her home country. After settling in Carleton Place, she has been working at the local Staples store for the past four and a half months.
She told CTV News she was inspired to start her initiative by seeing so many Canadians come to her workplace in preparation for the holidays. Ialovenko runs the program independently of her employer, Staples Canada.
“Every day, people come to my place of work and order Christmas and greeting cards, and usually they use really nice family photos,” says Ialovenko.
“But now there are millions of Ukrainians who are separated from their loved ones. They may not spend this time at home and this Christmas will be difficult for them.”
Ialovenko has only collected three days of Christmas cards, and has already amassed 17 from just one post in a local Facebook group.
She hopes people in eastern Ontario continue to support her home country through this small gesture.
“Giving those separated from their families in the trenches some moment of hope, maybe a gift of support and sharing the spirit of Christmas is a brilliant idea. They need a holiday too.”
The Ottawa Valley has been a major supporter of Ukraine and its refugees who have settled in the region.
especially summer fundraiser A fundraiser organized by the Eganville Leader newspaper raised $80,000 to send overseas. The Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, who traveled to Egenville to receive the donation, paid tribute to the generosity.
“It’s a great thing to feel supported. It’s not like you’re the only ones dealing with Ukraine in Ukraine,” Ilovenko said. “To know that somewhere in Canada, people do care, they do support Ukraine.”
Those interested in sending Christmas cards to Ukraine should drop them off at Carleton Place Staples at 555 McNeely Ave. by Monday, December 19th.