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Ukraine fundraiser exceeds expectations

Ladner’s Alongside You helps raise tens of thousands for relief efforts
Alongside You Ukraine fundraiser
Pictured left to right; Meg and Andrew Neufeld from Alongside You and Jet Takaoka, Advancement Director for MCC.

Never underestimate the power of a small group of caring, compassionate people.

That’s how Andrew Neufeld and his wife Meg from Ladner’s Alongside You, describe how a recent fundraising effort for Ukrainian relief came together.

“Meg and I were convicted that given our ties with Ukraine through my family, and the atrocities that were happening, and continue to take place at the hands of Putin, we had to do something,” said Andrew. “We discerned what the first step was, and decided to try to raise $10,000 by matching donations up to $5,000. We had no idea what to expect - we don't have a big group of wealthy friends or connections. What we do have is a large community of loving, compassionate, caring people who believe in helping others.”

Andrew said through the community's donations, their matching funds, and an anonymous donor who stepped up to match the second $5,000, they raised almost $20,000 for the work that Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is doing right now in Ukraine.

“Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine,” said Andrew. “We have become very aware of how privileged we are to live where we do, and do the work that we do in our home community through our clinic. We are also very aware that we would not be here without the generosity, and support of the Canadian people when our family came here from Ukraine during the Revolution.

“We have always believed it is our duty to use our resources and our privilege to help others, and we are so grateful to live and work in a community that believes the same. We are so very grateful for the support of our community as we launched this campaign, and we are also so very grateful to MCC for operating a trustworthy, dedicated, and effective organization that has been helping people for over 100 years. Without their help, this would not have been possible.”

MCC was founded 101 years ago to help people affected by conflict and upheaval in Ukraine and southern Russia.

Jet Takaoka, Advancement Director for MCC said they extend their heartfelt thanks to those who gave so generously to the Alongside You giving challenge for Ukraine relief.

“MCC is deeply grateful and humbled by the outpouring of compassion for the people affected by the events in Ukraine,” said Takaoka. “The generous response by people like our friends at Alongside You means that we can provide support and comfort for those caught up in the trauma of war. Knowing that people in our local community care what happens to others, even though they are an ocean away, means the world to those we are helping and to us.”