You can help in different ways financially, on social networks or simply by contacting people in your community.
As British Columbians watch what is happening in Ukraine from afar, they may feel inclined to help.
The President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Victoria has some suggestions on what people can do to show their support.
“It’s easy for Canadians to dismiss things happening in other countries and abroad, but Canada has an incredibly long and proud history of Canadian Ukrainians,” said Devon Sereda Goldie, who also grew up in a Canadian Ukrainian family.
As she watches the news from the capital of British Columbia on Friday, she feels a deep sense of dread and fear.
“Your Ukrainian friends are hurting; we have ties to this country, we are deeply connected to this country and to our family, our friends and our communities…we are hurting,” she said. “It’s horrible to see what’s going on right now.”
Contact your local MP
British Columbians interested in supporting Ukrainians should first contact their local MP, says Sereda Goldie.
“Ask them to support Ukraine and apply tough sanctions on Russia,” she told Glacier Media.
“We also call on Canada, the United Nations and their allies to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, because the air attacks right now are horrific.”
This is something she strongly suggests and says there is more information on the Ukrainian Canadian Congress website on PM information.
Participate in local rallies
Next, she suggests people attend their local rallies wherever they are across the country.
“It may seem like a small thing that might not make a difference, but it makes a big difference to us. Not only because we take great emotional comfort knowing that our fellow Canadians stand by our side, but also because it helps bring the attention to the general public at these large gatherings attracts attention in the media, but also to the government.
A large rally is planned in Victoria on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
“It draws attention to the fact that this is something Canadians don’t agree with,” she says. “We would like people who are not Ukrainians [to come out]; it’s a solidarity gathering so everyone is welcome.
Make a donation
For those who want to help financially, Sereda Goldie suggests the Humanitarian appeal for Ukraine.
“This is an incredibly reputable organization with a long history within the Ukrainian community,” she says.
The money will go towards basic needs like food parcels, medicine and first aid kits – “on the ground supplies that people need right now”.
The fundraiser was organized by the Canada Ukraine Foundation and is supported by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Contact your friends
A simple yet meaningful way to show your support is to check in on friends or community members to see how they are doing.
“Just a message to say, ‘Hi, I’m thinking of you, how are you?’ really goes a long way,” she says.
Many messages of support have been sent to the Victoria branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which Sereda Goldie says gives it a boost.
Show your support on social media
Finally, she suggests showing your support on social media using the hashtag #StandWithUkraine.
“There’s an international #StandWithUkraine campaign that’s being spearheaded by the Ukrainian World Congress and it’s really exploded on social media.”
Use the hashtag if you’re going to a rally and want to take a picture of yourself with a flag, she says.