One of the goals of my foundation is to assist Ukrainian displaced persons and refugees who are on their way to the Okanagan. I believe together we can strategically accomplish this goal by facilitating connection between individual people, like yourself, with those who’ve been forced out of their homeland due to war. The Bravery Foundation is not trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather strategically and tactically tap into resources our community already has. I’m confident everyone who I’m connecting with wants our new Ukrainian friends to feel welcomed, supported and a part of our Okanagan family. (This post was originally an email sent out to generous Okanagan donors responding to Kelowna's first Ukrainian displaced family).
The Journey of One
Many of us believe we can’t make a difference because we are only one person, but my experience has taught me this simply is not true. Community is comprised of many one persons. A great example is represented by how many toys, clothes and household items have been donated by many one persons, in one day, after just one article was written by one person in the Kelowna Capital News, thank you Jacqueline Gelineau! Compounded by a second story published on Castanet by one person, Cindy White, and all of a sudden the one small choice of one person filled the large steel donation bin for Ukrainian refugees managed by 'Kelowna Stands With Ukraine' to overflowing. Thank you Kelowna!
So how will The Bravery Foundation continue to accomplish our one person goals? It’s not complex really and the second goal has already been put into action and objective achieved. I realized in order to help Ukrainians who want to enter Canada and those already are on their way, would benefit by having easy access to existing government programs. As one person all that was required of me was to make a few strategic phone calls to our local MLA Norm Letnick, MP Tracy Gray and Mayor Colin Basran’s respective offices. Each in their own one person way offered various links and information regarding programs already in place to support displaced Ukrainians. The second step was to contact local Ukrainian groups I’ve been volunteering with and inquire about what they could each offer. Then in one evening I was able to, as one person, place on The Bravery Foundation's website, the information given to me by several one persons. And wah lah The Bravery Foundation’s federal, provincial, regional and local resource pages were born!
The Power of One
Today as each one of you sent me an email, and there were lots of you ones, which made me very happy, I pondered on how best to reply to each of you in a meaningful way. Then I realized all I had to do was make one email that I could send to all of you ones! My hope as each one of you reads this one email, that your soul is nourished and you are empowered to continue your one person journey together with me, as one mother whose one son has gone to the front lines in Ukraine to help evacuate one trapped civilian at a time. I strongly believe in the power one and trust together, as other ones, we can collectively accomplish the commission of helping those who’ve lost their homes, belongings and lives.
The Connection of One
Since the start of the war, I’ve developed a deep connection with many Ukrainians in the Okanagan one at a time. I do not speak Ukrainian, and I have no prior connection to Ukraine through family or friends. I’ve since discovered Ukraine’s rich culture, and connected with each person one at a time. I’ve found each one has a heart so big and a solidarity to remain free so strong, that it’s inspired me to help Ukrainians in any way I can. Thank you to each and every one of you for joining me in this journey of one!
We are all in this TOGETHER!