Multicultural Association GoFundMe raises funds for Ukrainian refugee resettlement

PERTH-HURON –The recent conflict in Ukraine has displaced countless families, and the Multicultural Association of Perth Huron (MAPH) has stepped up to help with resettlement. To this end, they launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help Ukrainian refugees.

“At this moment, we have 79 houses lined up,” said MAPH Founder and Executive Director Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa. “Those 79 homes are mostly in Huron and Perth Counties, with five apartments in Ottawa and two apartments in Windsor. People are calling from all over the place, and we are the only organization running in the Ontario rural areas.”

He said the MAPH is very grateful for the community support since they announced their campaign to prepare for Ukrainian refugees to arrive.

“We already have 159 volunteers. More people have been getting involved,” said Wordofa.

Fundraising is the main goal to prepare to support the Ukrainians who will arrive sometime soon. Several Ukrainian-themed fundraising dinners are planned; March 26 at Stanley Community Centre in Varna, March 31 at The Bruce Hotel in Stratford, and April 9 at Knights of Columbus Banquet Hall in Goderich.

“I want to thank the Ukrainian community who is helping us.,” said Wordofa. “This is very important, and we believe that.”

They have also been having popup sales of Krispy Kreme donuts in towns throughout Huron and Perth Counties. Keep an eye on their social media accounts to see if one is scheduled for your town.

MAPH Founder and Executive Director Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa sells supporters Justin Schott and Robyn Cassel a few dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts during a fundraiser in Listowel to support resettlement of Ukrainian refugees. (Colin Burrowes Photo)

So far, the MAPH has raised about $25,000 to resettle Ukrainian refugees, but they require much more.

“We are expecting 93 families,” he said. “It is not enough. We have to take care of these families for two years, so we need more help. We need more support. This is a huge crisis, and we have a shortage financially.”

Some other items may be needed, such as medical supplies and new clothes, but Wordofa asked that people contact for a list of specific items.

“For me, it is heartbreaking because I lived in Ukraine, I lived in Kyiv, and I went to school there.,” he said. “I know these people very well, and that’s why I’m spending my time – almost 24 hours we are working, me and my volunteers. Some volunteers are fixing houses in Blyth and Mitchell. We’ll see how things work, and I think they will be very positive.”

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