United For Ukraine Humanitarian Aid Campaign Underway
Two heads are better than one.
That is certainly the case with former Premier Ed Stelmach and former MLA Thomas Lukaszuk who came up with the idea for the United For Ukraine humanitarian aid campaign.
Lukaszuk said they both pulled out their rolodex and began calling businesses, fire halls and municipalities to see if they could assist in the humanitarian effort. Lukaszuk said they were fortunate enough to have the Canadian Polish Society agree to serve as the official charity so donations could be accepted.
Lukaszuk said they were given a comprehensive list of what items from the Ukraine and Canadian Embassies are needed for soldiers and citizens in Ukraine. He called up the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, and to his surprise was told they would donate the use of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and only asked for them to cover the costs of fuel in return. To that end, Shell Canada agreed to donate 50 tonnes of jet fuel for the trip from Edmonton to Warsaw and back to Edmonton.
The donations will be transported by ground from Warsaw across the border into Ukraine.
A warehouse in Edmonton is currently being used to stockpile donations until they have enough to fill the 35-tonne aircraft. “We have been assigned a flight number and hope to land on March 28.”
Lukaszuk also hopes there will be refugees aboard the airplane when it returns to Edmonton.
People can drop off donations at the Smoky Lake Seniors Club tomorrow, (March 22) from 9-11 am or the Polish Hall in Edmonton on Wednesday, (March 23) from 2-7 pm.
Suggested items include: first aid supplies, pain medications, baby and adult diapers, feminine hygiene products, deodorants, oral hygiene products, outdoor survival equipment, new socks and underwear, walkers and crutches. Specialized medical or emergency response equipment.