Saskatchewan. companies with ties to Ukraine helping relief efforts

Ukrainian Saskatchewan businesses are doing what they can to help relief efforts in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

Euro Deli kyiv, a Regina store specializing in Ukrainian and Polish products, opened on February 19 and quickly changed direction.

Daniyil Lytvynenko, the store owner, is originally from Ukraine and still has family there. He said he wanted to do what he could to help them.

“It’s scary to know that they are your family and they are unable to protect themselves because we are fighting one of the greatest countries in the world,” Lytvynenko said.

The company has partnered with other Ukrainian store owners, such as Beauty Code Studio and the Ukrainian Co-op, to collect items that will be shipped to Poland.

Stores collect everything from first aid kits to non-perishable food and clothing.

“Preferably winter clothes because it’s still cold outside and most of our families are fighting outside,” Lytvynenko added.

The companies work with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) branch in Regina to send parcels overseas.

“In Poland, volunteers in their own vehicles will distribute (the donations) across the country to help those in need,” Lytvynenko said.

CTV reported more than 800,000 people fled from Ukraine to Poland so far during the week of conflict.

Another local business is donating funds to relief efforts.

The Last Mountain Distillery in Lumsden is donating 10% of this month’s profits from the sale of one of its vodkas to the Canadian Red Cross appeal for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Meredith Schmidt, co-owner of Last Mountain Distillery, said her husband’s family had Ukrainian roots, making the current situation in Ukraine closer to home.

“It’s very similar to when people were coming here, so it’s almost like it was 120 years ago when people were moving to Saskatchewan,” Schmidt said. “You can connect some more.”

The distillery donates the proceeds of a line of vodka each month, but normally to a Saskatchewan-based organization. Schmidt said they made the exception this month because it’s really needed in Ukraine and there are a lot of people in the province who have family ties there.

“If Saskatchewan can help, I think that’s amazing.”

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