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Quesnel residents band together in support of Ukraine refugees

A two-week online auction has been launched on Facebook
Emily Colombo is one of several Quesnel residents who have teamed up to offer an online Facebook auction supporting Ukraine. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

A group of Quesnel residents have teamed up to raise funds through an online auction for people in war-torn Ukraine.

The Hope for Ukraine Auction launched Monday, March 28, on Facebook with the highest daily bids on items such as homemade desserts, gift certificates and specialty items supporting the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal and the Canadian-Ukraine Foundation.

“We had initially worked together at Christmas time to fundraise for the World Food Programme for people in Afghanistan, and through that network and bond that we formed, we reached back out to each other as well as new members to fundraise for humanitarian aid for Ukraine,” said Emily Colombo.

Included in the group is Colombo, Martina Feldman, Brenda Warkentin, Michaela Wiebe, Stephanie Valois, Marianne Van Leusden, and Gold Pan Pottery.

Read More: World Vision Canada warns of Ukraine humanitarian crisis’s impact on children

Colombo said most of them are mothers and grandmothers, and has a 16-month old child herself.

“It’s terrible,” she said of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“It really does make me appreciate the privilege we have here in Canada for safety and security, and to have for the majority of us all of our needs met…I think having young kids in our lives helps to put into perspective the vulnerability that a lot of people are facing in Ukraine, particularly families and people with young children.”

The UN Refugee Agency estimates more than four million refugees have fled Ukraine since February 24, 2022, when Russian forces invaded the country.

Colombo believes it is easy for people to fall into feelings of despair and sadness during times of international crisis as there is only so much a single person can do, and said it feels rewarding to be part of a larger community effort.

“Whether it’s through baking and putting donation items together or making a bid, it can be a show of solidarity and help feel that there is something bigger than an individual can do.”

Bids for the online auction, which will run until Sunday, April 10, close at 5 p.m. daily.

For more information or to place a bid visit the Hope for Ukraine Auction on Facebook.

Read More: 100 Mile youth hold Peace Walk for Ukraine

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