Hand-made quilt auctioned off to support refugee family from Ukraine

September 7, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

An effort by local organizations has resulted in a monetary gift for a family from Ukraine who fled the war-torn country and settled in Orangeville.

A quilt was made by the Grand Valley Agricultural Society to be auctioned off to help a local family. The family left Orangeville before the quilt was completed, so they searched for someone else who could benefit.

The quilt was designed and made with a blue and yellow sunflower pattern.

Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services in Orangeville got involved and recommended a local young family of a mother and two young children. The children’s father had to remain in Ukraine as he was of the age required to stay and protect the country.

“We help settle new arrivals to the community,” explained Fatima Medeiros, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services general manager. “We will help them find housing, we’ll set them up with medical assistance, help them get their kids in school and essentially help them settle into the community. We also teach them things like geography, and political structure here and how that works – things that [they] can learn to work towards getting citizenship.”

They also help with language skills for people learning to speak English. Along with Fatima, the team includes Shonette Gobin, Salma Umme, and Sakirat Hussein.

“The quilt project began with the Grand Valley Agricultural Society creating the quilt in the colours of the Ukrainian flag,” Fatima said. “The family it was intended for moved away. Someone I know, told them to connect with Polycultural and they will see what they can do. We did happen to have a new young family of a mother and two children. The father was required to stay in Ukraine. We thought the funds could really help with basic expenses like food.”

The family is currently living in a basement apartment located in a residential home. Three organizations helped to get the funds to the family. First, the Agricultural Society, a local community foundation, and the Polycultural Services.

“It shows that in the community there are so many touch-points that get involved with helping people,” Fatima said.

The members of the Agricultural Society who worked on the quilt all did their own part to create the finished product.

The Agricultural Society auctioned off the quilt and raised $750, which will benefit the family.

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