These Windsor-Essex residents want to help Ukrainians with supplies, skills and somewhere to stay
Some look to house refugees, while one nurse is heading there to help
As the crisis rages on in Ukraine, Windsorites are coming up with ways to help.
Some are looking to open their homes to Ukrainians and others are helping collect much-needed supplies.
"It seems like the right thing to do," said Michael Jaworiwsky, who has a home in Windsor with his wife, Diane.
The Jaworiwskys are both descendants of Ukrainian immigrants and — when the time comes — they say they're ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their home.
"We have two bedrooms that are available readily. There's also a recreational room downstairs that can definitely convert into another bedroom if needed."
Other Windsorites with a connection to Ukraine are also helping rally support and supplies for the country.
Natalya Kachor moved to Canada from Ukraine 10 years ago, and now lives in Windsor.
Many of her family members are still in Ukraine, though. They refuse to leave their homes and continue to battle the day-to-day uncertainty of Russia's invasion.
- First PersonI'm a veteran who trained Ukrainian soldiers. They've taught me the meaning of resiliency
So Kachor decided she would find other ways to help.
She contacted Windsor Regional Hospital and its CEO, David Musyj, with a list of medical needs requested by the Ukrainian government. The hospital helped cover off a number of essential items on that list.
Since then, she said a batch of medical supplies have already been sent to Ukraine, but there will constantly be a need for more.
"I know that there's a big need on diapers, baby formula, warm clothes but I would like specifically, because I have some medical background from back home... to be focused on medical donations."
Kachor is still looking to collect medical essentials like wound care, first aid kits, bandages and painkillers. She said she has partnered with the Ukrainian Canadian Medical Association of Ontario to try and send medical supplies at least once a week to Ukraine.
Humanitarian support with connections to Windsor-Essex
The United Nations says more than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring countries in less than two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government is waiving most typical visa requirements in preparation to welcome an "unlimited number" of Ukrainians fleeing the war.
In Amherstburg, nurse practitioner Carolyn Davies is using her skills to help provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Davies is the vice president of Canadian Medical Assistance Teams, a volunteer-run humanitarian relief organization.
She said a cargo plane full of medical supplies and some of her team members is on its way to Ukraine. Once there, team members will distribute the supplies and assess the needs on the ground.
"They're trying to determine how many team members we should be sending in and what kind of role they will play. Will they be ICU nurses? Will they be surgeons? Will they be psychologists to deal with post-traumatic stress?"
She said the cargo plane will ideally go in with supplies and come out transporting refugees.
City of Windsor offers options for residents looking to help Ukrainians
Windsor city officials have put together a list of organizations collecting donations to support families in Ukraine.
In a press release, the city clarified that it is not affiliated with any of the fundraising initiatives linked below: