British Columbia’s Polish community stands in solidarity with Ukraine

The Polish community has been diligently working to help Ukrainian refugees by raising funds via different means. Polish organizations under the Canadian Polish Congress have done some incredible work fundraising for Ukraine.

In the month of March, the St. Casimir’s Polish Catholic Parish in Vancouver raised a remarkable $22,000 for Ukraine.

The White Eagle Polish Association held a Concert on May 1, raising over $6000 for humanity relief. In addition, on April 9, they held a bake sale with the Ukrainian community which raised over $2700.

On May 29, the B.C. Polish festival in Port Coquitlam, held by Polonez Tri-City Polish Association, organized a silent art auction in support of Ukraine. Polish-Canadian artists donated their works of art in support of this initiative. The fundraising initiative raised over $6000.

On June 18, the Canadian Polish Congress BC organized A Concert for Peace – Fundraiser for Ukrainian Refugees. Polish, Ukrainian and Canadian artists donated their musical talents for this concert. Held at St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver, the concert raised over $4000.

“The strong support of the Polish community in BC is inspiring to see. Since the unjust invasion of Ukraine in February, the Polish community has stood with the Ukrainian people. We feel an absolute need to help. This is our moral obligation,” says Michael K. Dembek, President of the Canadian Polish Congress BC.

Ukrainian refugees in Poland

“It’s incredible to hear that Poland has no refugee camps. We are talking about over four million refugees pouring into the country, and, simply put, the Polish people have opened their homes and their hearts to the Ukrainian people,” says Dembek.

Over four million Ukrainian refugees have escaped into Poland. They are being housed by locals, non-profit organizations and government entities. To date, Poland has no refugee camps. The Government of Poland has assisted Ukrainians by giving them free travel passes on public buses and trains, putting over 150,000 Ukrainian children into the Polish school system and giving them Pesel numbers (similar to Social Security Numbers) in order for them to apply for jobs and social assistance programs.

“We understand that today Poland is safer thanks to the heroism of [Volodymyr] Zelensky and the entire Ukraine. We know that the heroic defense of a brother country is also a fight for our freedom. In this matter, we are obligated not just to show appreciation and gratitude – it’s our moral debt. This is the reason why we feel obligated to help and support the Ukrainians who are fighting for their lives. It is also our war against Russian tyranny. It’s great to see Polish-Canadians in Vancouver standing with Ukraine too,” says Andrzej Mańkowski, Consul General of Poland in Vancouver.

Belweder North Shore Polish Association is the latest Polish organization in B.C. planning to raise funds for Ukraine. Belweder is hosting the famous 8th annual Polish Festival in North Vancouver on September 4th. They are planning a lottery to fundraise for Ukraine.

“The Polish community is continuing the momentum forward. Every Polish event that is

being organized always has a Ukrainian element in it. We know that every bit helps. I’m glad that Belweder is planning the next fundraiser for Ukraine. The solidarity in our community between Poland and Ukraine is remarkably strong,” Dembek adds.

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