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Boxes of Love night to include a special perspective

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Anatoliy Furda admitted it is unusual for him to speak to a crowd, though the recent immigrant from Ukraine is the guest speaker at the Sharing Boxes of Love fund-raiser, Feb. 2.
“But I’m going to tell how important it is what my colleagues and friends are doing here, in trying to mobilize the community and provide assistance to orphans in Ukraine,” he said.
When he lived in Ukraine, Furda assisted Boxes of Love Foundation co-ordinators Nicole Yunker and Lindsay Rubeniuk by visiting the sites the group was donating to and arranging meetings when the pair visited Ukraine.
Furda also made contact with orphanages and institutions, to identify the supplies children and the institution would need now and in the future. He would explain the process of collecting and shipping donations from Canada to Ukraine, the time it would take and the number of people involved.
“Explaining what’s possible and what is not possible,” Furda added.
Additionally, Furda collected feedback for Canada, to ensure donors knew the items sent were appreciated and put to good use.
At the fund-raiser, he also wants to share what happens in the institutions in Ukraine, who is involved and how local assistance is delivered and distributed.
Furda hopes to make it clear the importance of donor consideration, in giving their time and effort to people in need.
“Nicole and Lindsay, they spent a lot of time thinking of this and they really dedicated themselves to this huge project,” he said.
“And they’ve done it in many different ways, but most of it is their precious time that they are spending.”
Furda has visited Dauphin and feels he has a good idea of what it takes for Yunker and Rubeniuk to inform the community and gain the trust of donors.
“I’m amazed at their efforts and their passion and dedication,” he said.
In Canada for about 18 months now, Furda has noticed the amount of volunteering done by Manitobans and other Canadians.
Just as there are many people in need in the province, he pointed out, there are many more in Ukraine with limited sources of income, as well as political and military crises that complicates the issue.
“And of course the kids are most prominent,” Furda stressed.
There is a special bond between the two countries, Furda said, as Ukrainians played an early role in the development of Canada, particularily in the prairies.
When children receive items from Boxes of Love, he noted, the act of kindness brightens their life and gives them hope, because they feel someone in Canada cares about them.
“It’s like lighting a small dream in them,” he said.
Furda moved his wife, adult son and younger daughter to Canada during the summer of 2016.
When the family moved to Winnipeg, he said, they received great support and advice from Yunker and Rubeniuk, from finding an apartment and furnishings, to sharing a binder of information.
“When you immigrate from another country, you just come with a suitcase. And they provided us with everything to start. It was amazing,” Furda said, adding he is grateful for the help and support.
“They are role models, I think.”
Aside from the guest speaker, Yunker said, the evening will include supper and an opportunity to sample a variety of Mary Kay products.
Boxes of Love and Mary Kay will have displays for guests to learn more about both organizations.
Someone will win all the school supplies, a pair of running shoes and backpack, Yunker said, which will be given to one student at the Internat to start their school year in September.
Tickets are $25 each.
Doors to the event at Super 8 at 1457 Main Street S open at 5:30 p.m. and the supper begins at 6 p.m.
For more information, call Stephanie Jaddock at 204-638-7614.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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