By Iryna Paltseva

At a time when Russia is ruthlessly leaving millions of Ukrainians without light, water, and heat, a dedicated group of volunteers, including many from Sutton-by-the-Lake and from a York Region fraternal group, continue to show kindness to hundreds of newly arrived refugees from Ukraine.

Earlier this spring, the group opened a full-fledged donation and support centre in King City, where refugee families can pick-up donated clothes, shoes and household items, including kitchenware and furniture.

The centre, located in a storefront at 2174 King Rd., is meeting a real need as many refugees left their homes in Ukraine with just a backpack on their shoulders.

Refugees pick-up bedding and towels
Family tries out donated mattresses
Clothing at centre
Shoes at centre

The volunteers, often working with a translator, also help Ukrainian refugees find housing and employment, and assist with moving.

The centre has already helped more than 111 families adapt to life in Canada.

It also helps newcomers send aid back to relatives in Ukraine.

Recently, $3,600 was raised to buy an inverter with batteries, which was sent to Ukraine to help power several homes.

The centre is now raising funds to help provide Christmas for Ukrainian families in need and to fund work in the coming year. Unfortunately, it appears many more families are coming.

Rob Lawrence, a retired teacher and head of the centre, says Ukrainian refugee families receive no direct support from the Canadian government, so Christmas time is the perfect moment to create real magic for those who really need it.

If you would like to make a donation, you can etransfer him directly at, or send a cheque to Rob Lawrence, 5698 Vivian Rd, Stouffville, ON L4A 3R9.

He is also looking for volunteers, especially drivers with enclosed trailers, to help transport furniture.

Newcomers can arrange a visit through the Facebook site, Ukrainian Donation and Support Center in King City, (



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