PHOTOS: Saanich retirement community raises almost $25,000 for Ukraine relief

Tini Hayden (left) and Berte Fraser, residents at Berwick Royal Oak, graciously accept flowers for their efforts in raising money for Ukraine. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Tini Hayden (left) and Berte Fraser, residents at Berwick Royal Oak, graciously accept flowers for their efforts in raising money for Ukraine. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Tini Hayden is very crafty and also made paper flowers using Ukraine colours for the Mayor of Saanich and other attendees at the event – she plans to make more to bring a smile to people’s faces. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Tini Hayden is very crafty and also made paper flowers using Ukraine colours for the Mayor of Saanich and other attendees at the event – she plans to make more to bring a smile to people’s faces. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Berte Fraser makes knit dolls and created one using Ukraine colours that she brought to the event, she plans to make more to continue bringing light to the crisis in Ukraine. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Berte Fraser makes knit dolls and created one using Ukraine colours that she brought to the event, she plans to make more to continue bringing light to the crisis in Ukraine. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Father Yuriy Vyshnevskyy (left) from St. Nicholas holds up a cheque for $24,502.50 alongside Tini Hayden and Berte Fraser. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Father Yuriy Vyshnevskyy (left) from St. Nicholas holds up a cheque for $24,502.50 alongside Tini Hayden and Berte Fraser. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The residents of Berwick Royal Oak – a Saanich retirement community – raised almost $25,000 for relief in Ukraine and were recognized for their generous efforts Tuesday (March 29).

The fundraising efforts began thanks to two women living in the community, who decided over coffee one morning they needed to help in whatever way they could – and they chose to do so by handmaking ribbons and flags using Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag colours.

Tini Hayden and Berte Fraser put their creative abilities to work and were able to raise more money than they had even thought possible.

“We were really concerned and wanted to do something to help,” said Fraser. “Tini suggested that we make ribbons so we did that and then we made a box for donations, people were just so enthusiastic and so willing to give and it just kept on coming – we were really amazed.”

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Born in Holland, Hayden said this crisis hits home.

“My question is why? Why can’t we sit down, talk and listen to each other – this shouldn’t be happening again in 2022,” said Hayden with tears in her eyes. “I just feel so bad for the children and the mothers – I had to do something.”

All funds will go toward the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Nicholas’ partnership with Caritas Ukraine, an organization that provides humanitarian assistance. They distribute aid in Ukraine including medical and hygiene supplies, food, and other necessities.

A family connected to St. Nicholas Parish matched the money raised by the residents at Berwick Royal Oak.


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