Nfld. & Labrador

Ukrainian family in N.L. can be 'part of this community' thanks to anonymous $8,900 donation

When Yevheniia Alosha set up a fundraising page online to raise money to replace her broken-down car, she didn't expect someone to almost fulfil her goal of $10,000 single-handedly.

Anonymous donor reacted to GoFundMe page set up to raise donations for a new car

A young woman smiles into the camera.
Yevheniia Alosha came to St. John's with her husband and four-year-old son in June, fleeing the war in Ukraine. When the family's car broke down, Alosha started a fundraising page to try to raise enough money to buy a new car. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

When Yevheniia Alosha of St. John's created a GoFundMe page for money to pay for a new car, she didn't expect an anonymous donation of almost $9,000 to come in.

Alosha started fundraising two weeks ago, after her family's car broke down due to a transmission and handbrake failure. Then, one week later, she got a notification about a new donation.

"I think I cried little bit," said Alosha, her eyes filling with tears again.

"I was like, 'Oh my God,' to my husband, 'Oh my God, oh my God. Look, somebody donate so much.'… Thank you so much. Whoever this person is, I will pray to God for health, for wellness for this person."

With the donation of $8,900, the donor fulfilled almost all of Alosha's $10,000 fundraising goal.

Alosha, her husband and four-year-old son lived in a small town close to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, before they came to St. John's in June, fleeing the country following Russia's invasion in February.

After almost four months of filing paperwork, and finding jobs and child care, Alosha said the couple decided to buy a used car with their savings.

"We were pretty excited. We can move around finally to explore a little bit St. John's and to meet another Canadian families and just to be more into the community," said Alosha.

A young boy stands in front of a car.
The car Alosha and her husband bought using almost all their savings broke down after just one month. Needing to get to work and daycare for their four-year-old son, Danny, the couple decided to ask for donations. (Submitted by Yevheniia Alosha)

But when the car broke down one short month later, the mechanic told the couple it wasn't worth fixing.

It was devastating news for the family. Having a car, Alosha said, means being able to participate as full members of their new home — going to work, earning a living and being stable.

"It will help us to be part of this community," said Alosha.

While Alosha said she doesn't mind taking the bus, her new job as a flight attendant with PAL Airlines means she needs to be able to get to the airport at all hours.

We just trying to get this little bit of money to stand up.- Yevheniia Alosha

The family hasn't received the money just yet, though. Alosha said she was notified the platform needs to verify where the money came from and on which online platforms she shared the fundraiser link.

"I know a lot of scamming is going on and people just ask, 'Oh for Ukraine,' but they actually don't.… It's a lot of things happening. But we will never ask," said Alosha. 

"We just trying to get this little bit of money to stand up."

As for who the anonymous donor might be, Alosha is in the dark.

"I have no clue," she said and laughed. "Just somebody sharing and sharing, and I guess somebody was very helpful enough to do that."

Alosha and her husband are grateful for any help they received, however big or small, since they came to the province.

"I just want to thank everyone for the help … and just the understanding of the whole situation. Just people want to be part of your life, just to help you," said Alosha.

"And for sure, with this amount of help, in the future when I will stand up on my feet, I want to help as well people in need."

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Henrike Wilhelm


Henrike Wilhelm is a journalist working with CBC's bureau in St. John's.