Local Non-Profits Join Forces to Support People Fleeing from Ukraine

Cranbrook, BC (April 11, 2022) – The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) and the newly-established Shelter for Ukrainians Society are joining forces to support people who are fleeing from Ukraine, following the invasion by Russia.

Starting as an ad hoc committee of local community leaders, and recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Shelter for Ukrainians Society has moved quickly and is now a BC-registered non-profit society. The Society’s board consists of eleven inaugural members, with long-time educator and administrator, Bonnie Spence-Vinge, elected as President, and local lawyer, Marko Maryniak, serving as Vice-President.

Maryniak said, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits very close to home. My parents fled World War II and immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, as did many others. They would not have made it without help. Now, it’s our turn to help people who are fleeing the war in Ukraine and are seeking safe haven in Canada.  We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies for their support.”

The Shelter for Ukrainians Society will provide funds to individuals and families who are arriving in our community from Ukraine, to assist them with needs such as transportation, housing, essential supplies, education, general wellness, and employment.

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) has entered into a three-year agreement with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society. As a CRA-registered charity, CFKR will accept donations, provide tax receipts, steward the donated funds, and disburse the funds to the Society.

Community members are invited to make a tax-receiptable charitable donation to this important community initiative. To minimize administration fees and maximize support, donations are preferred via cheque, e-transfer, or cash.

  • Cheque: Made out to “CFKR”, noting “Ukraine” in the memo
    • Mailed to CFKR at PO Box 242, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 4H8 or
    • Delivered to the CFKR office in the Ground Floor Coworking Space at 131 7th Ave. S., Cranbrook
  • E-transfer: Emailed to [email protected]
    • In the notes, donors are asked to include “Ukraine” as well as their full name and contact information
  • Cash: Delivered to the CFKR office in the Ground Floor Coworking Space at 131 7th Ave. S., Cranbrook, BC

Credit card donations, which include an additional processing fee, are also an option via the following link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/71649

“For CFKR, it’s an honour to be working with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society to welcome these individuals and families to our communities,” said Michele Bates, CFKR Board Chair.

Bates added, “A local donor has generously offered to cover CFKR’s 5% cost-recovery/administration fee for the first $20,000 in donations. This means that 100% of these donations will be directed to this important community initiative.”

The initial focus is on supporting individuals and families in Cranbrook and the surrounding area, with the potential to expand support more widely, throughout the Kootenays.


Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies:

Established in 2003 as a federally incorporated not-for-profit and a CRA-registered charity, the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and employs one staff person. CFKR holds a total of approximately $4 million in 43 permanently invested funds. Since 2003, thanks to the income earned from its endowment funds as well as external project funding, CFKR has granted nearly $1 million to almost 300 local non-profit projects in the communities of Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie, Cranbrook, and the surrounding rural areas.


Shelter for Ukrainians Society

Starting as an ad hoc committee following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, this group of community leaders registered as a BC non-profit society on March 29, 2022. The purpose of the Society is to facilitate safe haven for Ukrainian people in Southeast BC. The inaugural board includes President Bonnie Spence-Vinge, Vice-President Marko Maryniak, John Hudak, Father Applegate, Tamara Cartwright, Sharon Cross, Dawn Fenwick, Ruth Huffman, Gerry Kent, Chris Murray, and Wayne Stetski.