Calgary charities prepare support for Ukrainians: ‘No one can do this alone’

There’s a new appeal to help welcome people from Ukraine now on their way to Calgary.

It’s all about making sure those fleeing the war can get off to a clean start.

The Soap for Hope charity is partnering with the Centre for Newcomers to provide hygiene hampers for approximately 200 Ukrainian families expected to arrive in Calgary in April.

Read more: Alberta begins welcoming people displaced by war in Ukraine

Soap for Hope collects leftover guests’ soap from hotels and makes its own soap, providing it to Calgary homeless shelters and other social agencies.

Some of that soap will be part of the hygiene hampers, along with other personal items.

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“Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, deodorant, razors, toothpaste,” Soap for Hope’s Tanaya Jilg said. “All the basics that you need for a family to get started.”

Read more: Canadians help aid effort on the ground in Ukraine with Samaritan’s Purse

The families from Ukraine will need that kind of support.

“Most of them, they’re women and children, because their husbands probably have to stay behind to protect their own country unfortunately,” the Centre for Newcomers’ Charlie Wang said. “So we’re going to put those hygiene packages as part of their food hampers going to the families.”

Jilg said she and her team of volunteers feel fortunate to be able to help the Ukrainians.

“You can only imagine how scary it would be to be flown to a new country where you know nobody or nothing and have nothing,” she said. “So we just think it would be helpful for our part to at least have some basic amenities to be able to give to them when they arrive.”

Read more: How Albertans can help support Ukraine

It’s part of an effort to provide a wide range of support for the families from Ukraine.

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“Helping those clients with their mental health and also employment assistance,” Wang said. “And we can provide language training, running volunteer-led ESL classes.

“Without those community supports, no one can do this alone.”

Soap for Hope is now appealing for donations of hygiene items and bedding, with more information available at

“We can use as much as we can get,” Jilg said. “The more donations that come in, the more hampers that we can build.”

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