On October 15th, a very successful joint drive for winter clothing and small appliances was held at Carlisle United Church. The day was a great success with many community members making generous donations of winter clothing and boots, small appliances, and household tools. The donations were taken to the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Vladimir in Hamilton for the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Store “Stricha” that provides free clothing and items to the Ukrainian refugees. The following is their letter of thanks (please note that the photo referenced in the letter has not been included in this post).

November 1, 2022

Ms. Andrea McRae
Carlisle Church Board Chair
Carlisle United Church
1432 Centre Road
Carlisle, ON L0R 1H1

Dear Ms McRae and United Church of Carlisle and Kilbride:

On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Hamilton Branch, I would like to extend to you our most sincere thank you for your generous donations of winter coats, snow suits, hats, gloves, shoes and boots, along with warm clothes. Your generosity was immediately placed into our store and the amount that did not fit at the time, was placed in our temporary storage space and was retrieved weekly and placed on our coat racks. The response by our clients was delight and appreciation of the quality and quantity of coats to choose from, especially the children. The vacuum cleaner was an exciting find for one family consisting of mother, father and 2 small children, who were sharing their 2 bedroom apartment with another couple, in an upper part of a house, which was all carpeted. It will be well used and very appreciated. One can never under-appreciate the desire of keeping a well cleaned home, especially with limited resources.

I very much appreciate the work that you did in advertising the collection in both church bulletins, on Carlisle and Kilbride Community facebook pages and on the roadside sign, as well as I’m sure sharing the initiative with all of your personal contacts. The response was indeed very generous. I am sure that it all took a great deal of work and many volunteers to collect, sort, package and transport the very many boxes to our storefront. I understand the church was very kind with offers of assistance as well as tables and tents to help in organizing the collection. I remember that it was not such a sunny day as we hoped it would be. I and the Hamilton UCC are also so appreciative of Helen Callaway for her outreach and enthusiasm in this operation. I’m sure it would not have happened in such a way without her.

At this time of uncertainty for Ukraine and its citizens, the thoughtful, caring and generous gesture you have shown through your donation sends a message of support to all the Ukrainian newcomers who are arriving in Hamilton on a daily basis, that they are welcomed, loved and supported here.

In the excitement and milieu of the unloading of your donations, I was remise in taking lots of pictures to document this moment. I did remember to snap my phone at the storage space, although not everyone’s goodly likeness was properly captured. I attach my poor attempt as photographer of some of your generous volunteers.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Hamilton “Thanks You” from the bottom of our hearts, but more importantly so do all the newly arrived Ukrainian families. We bow to you in appreciation.

Kindest regards,

Elena Lazar, President
UCC Hamilton and area