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Opportunities for churches and service clubs to support newcomers

As Grassroots Response continues its journey of solidarity and compassion, our unwavering commitment to helping Ukrainians find a safe and welcoming home in Canada remains a cornerstone of our efforts. These individuals and families, who have endured unimaginable hardships due to the ongoing conflict, are at a pivotal crossroads. Many are grappling with the heart-wrenching decision of whether to continue their new lives here or face the possibility of returning to a homeland still mired in turmoil.

A sense of belonging is pivotal to everyone’s mental health and success. A sense of belonging is built through relationships, through shared experiences, through laughter and tears. It is being able to call a place home. Ukrainians fleeing to Canada have lost almost all social connections and a sense of belonging and are struggling. Many choosing to fly back to Ukraine, back to a country faced with bombs and fear, because of the feeling of isolation, the fear of being homeless, and the lack of support they have received in settling in Canada.

Grassroots Response would like to increase the amount of social connections and support available to Ukrainian families coming to Waterloo Region. We are looking to connect newcomers with local service clubs, religious institutions and community groups.

We are reaching out to our community network seeking people who want to volunteer in our outreach team. Are you connected with a local church who would like to hear more about the needs of Ukrainian newcomers? Do you volunteer with local service clubs? Do you have a neighbourhood book club or youth program that you would like to invite newcomers to? If you feel a personal calling to help spread this message of urgent need, we warmly invite you to join our mission.

We are hoping to create ‘clusters’ of support in the areas of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Woolwich but we welcome support from all corners of our community. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, contributes to a larger tapestry of hope and renewal for our Ukrainian friends. Our goal is to connect newcomers directly with various groups within their community to gain the support they need.

Ukrainians are facing daunting challenges in securing basic necessities like suitable clothing, stable employment, affordable housing, and general community support. This period is a defining moment for many Ukrainian families and individuals, as they weigh their options for the future. Your active participation and advocacy can provide them with the crucial support they need to stay in Canada and rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.

If you are already among our valued volunteers, please get in touch with Mark Baetz at to explore how you can contribute further to this cause. If 

you haven't yet joined us but are interested in doing so, please complete our online volunteer form. Be sure to indicate your specific interest in initiatives involving local churches. We value each volunteer's unique skills and are committed to aligning your contributions with areas where they can have the greatest impact.

Your dedication, generosity, and support are the pillars of our collective mission. Together, we can create a nurturing environment for those who have left everything behind in search of safety and peace. Thank you for your continued commitment, empathy, and willingness to stand with those in need.

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