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Two local charities are partnering to send first-aid, hygiene and trauma kits to aid Ukrainian refugees

A shipping container is being filled with relief supplies for Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country.
Dell Wergeland, president of the Compassionate Resource Warehouse, organizes items for trauma counselling kits to be sent to Poland along with medical and other much needed supplies. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Two local charities have joined forces to help to fill a shipping container with relief supplies for Ukrainians fleeing the war in their country, including hygiene products for hospitals and tool kits to help children, with donations accepted at two locations.

Soap for Hope Canada is working with Compassionate Resource Warehouse in Victoria to pack a 40-foot container with hygiene products, humanitarian aid and medical supplies destined for the Polish-Ukrainian border. Another container filled with non-perishable food is already en route to the region.

With the help of iCROSS Canada and their partners on the ground, the charities plan to set up a field hospital and registration centre for new arrivals.

“The situation is very fluid at this time, so we may be setting up feeding stations along with general relief supplies,” said Dee Wergeland, president of Compassionate Resource Warehouse.

Among the relief supplies will be trauma-counselling kits, with very specific items to support children who have undergone mental trauma.

“The kits encourage children to tell their stories,” said Wergeland. “Some children find it hard to vocalize the trauma they have experienced. The notebooks, art supplies and even hand ­puppets give children an avenue to express their feelings, to help them get it out.”

Trauma counselling supplies needed for the kits include drawing paper, construction paper, beads, sidewalk chalk, crayons, pencils crayons, sharpeners and hand puppets.

Due to COVID-19, the ­warehouse is not open to walk-in traffic. People wishing to donate should make an ­appointment to drop off items.

They will be accepting ­donations from 9 a.m. to noon Monday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. An address will be given once the appointment is confirmed.

A full list of items needed can be found on the Compassionate Resource Warehouse website. People can also help by donating cash.

Local charity Soap for Hope is pitching in to fill the shipping container, which the partners have jointly purchased.

Once the container arrives at its destination and has been unloaded, it will be repurposed to serve as secure storage for equipment and supplies.

“There is huge worry and anxiety over this crisis. People are standing by wanting to help … and not knowing what to do,” said Anne McIntyre, executive director of the local charity.

“Soap for Hope Canada will help by providing Ukrainians fleeing their homes with basic products that save lives and bring comfort. Soap is very important at any hospital and is necessary in these conditions.”

They hope to include personal hygiene products such as body lotion, bars of wrapped soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, face cloths, towels and feminine products. There is also a call for baby items (diapers, diaper cream, baby shampoo, baby lotion) and basic first aid items.

Donations will be accepted from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 7 to 10 at 426b William St. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12 at Second Hand Hope, 444 William St.

Soap for Hope Canada is also accepting financial donations to cover the cost of the container, shipping and supplies. For more ­information, or to donate, go to ­­the Soap for Hope website.