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Donations pile up in Langford business to help fleeing Ukrainians

Container filled with supplies heading to children’s medical centre in Poland
Cloth Castle owner Sylvia Ratcliffe and floor manager Natasha Cloutier show off the stack of donations bound for a children’s medical and trauma centre on the border between Poland and Ukraine. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

The West Shore’s generosity is on display once again, this time for the benefit of children in Ukraine facing extreme hardships following Russia’s invasion in late February.

Colwood-based volunteer group Canada Comforts Society partnered with the Compassionate Resource Warehouse and the Cloth Castle to collect donated money and supplies to meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighbouring Poland to escape the war.

“On the border with Ukraine they are setting up a medical centre and a trauma centre for children,” said society founder Sylvia Hatfield. “We are collecting money to pay for a container to stay there so it can be used to house this centre, we are sending our comfort teddy bears and bags and we are also sending things like diapers, blankets, outfits for newborns, crayons, colouring books, that kind of thing.”

Cloth Castle had already been collecting donated blankets and blanket-making materials for the society’s other ongoing efforts around the world, but last weekend they were asked if they could also start collecting donations for Ukraine, said floor manager Natasha Cloutier.

“Our customers have made a huge amount of donations in just the last four days,” said Cloutier. “Last weekend they also took a big load of just blankets … it’s just been coming steadily.”

On Thursday (March 10) a large stack of donated supplies, ranging from brand-new medical supplies to infant clothing, diapers, hygiene items and more were piled up in the store, rivalling in size the carefully organized product displays. On Saturday, they are set to be collected and sent on their way to eastern Europe to be put to good use.

While they typically like to support more local causes, Cloutier said providing this support to Ukraine really makes them feel like part of a global community, and it feels good to be able to take what is a hobby for many people and use it to make a positive impact on someone half a world away.

READ MORE: Victoria experts offer tips on talking with kids about Russia’s war on Ukraine


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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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