An Open Letter in Support of Ukraine

In the last few weeks, we have been following the tragic events in Ukraine with much sadness and great concern.  

Since the conflict began, we first aimed to ensure our colleagues affected had the support they needed, and it has been inspiring to witness their resilience. We’d like to share an Open Letter, penned by Kristina Adel, a Velour Beauty team member of Ukrainian descent, now living in Toronto. 

An Open Letter 

Written on 28 March, 2022, by Kristina Adel 

To our community, 

I'm sure the events of the last month have touched everyone in one way or another, but particularly affected those in Ukraine, who come from Ukraine or who have their family and friends there. At the time of this writing, the invasion of Ukraine has resulted in 2,421 civilian casualties including 136 children. It has also displaced around 3.7 million Ukrainians as they fled their homes to seek safety in neighboring countries.  

In the current century and living in Canada, I don't expect war and don't really know how to act. We were never prepared for it. Is it something one can prepare for? Some of us didn't have a choice and had to learn how to function and do everyday things while constantly worrying about friends and family who hear air raids daily, never knowing where the next bomb may land.  Feelings of hopelessness, anger, confusion, loss... And what do you do to cope while normal life seems to run its course?  

When the war started, I could contact my friends via WhatsApp to ask about their families' safety. We attended protests to show our support, donated money and kept on checking in. Over time, reaching out seemed almost awkward - can you even say, 'How are you?' Some people I know escaped, while their homes were destroyed. Some felt guilty for leaving their country, while others volunteered to help in the war effort. 

My friends in Poland saw a different side of this conflict. They picked up people along the border, bought supplies for housing refugees and welcomed them to their homes. They knew that aggressors need to be stopped to protect freedom and humanity. 

The war has had ripple effects all over the world and has exposed another issue we need to address. The disparity between acceptance of Ukrainian refugees of Europe descent versus other communities has shown that we still have a lot of work to do to treat every human life the same, no matter the colour of their skin.  

Everyone chooses a different way to survive the horrors of war and overcome the worry for their loved ones. Donating, sharing, checking in – it all counts. The small gestures of kindness make a huge difference, and that's everything I wish for at the moment. I'm thankful for everyone who recently showed kindness to me, my friends affected by the war & their families. 

Being in Toronto, which has the second largest Ukrainian diaspora, has also been powerful. Seeing blue and yellow flags attached to homes, streets, cars and restaurants makes you feel bigger and a part of a community. I admire all local efforts supporting the end of this war.  

I wish for kindness, love and peace, nothing else. 

Thank you, 

Kristina  

How Velour Is Supporting 

We believe, that as long as the conflict continues, everyone should use their voice to show solidarity and #SupportUkraine That’s why we’re donating 20% of net proceeds from Velourbeauty.com during the month of March to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, an organization which provides aid to some of the hardest hit cities in Ukraine, assistance to displaced families, and delivers food, medicine and hygiene supplies. We hope this gesture makes a small positive impact, alongside the donations being made and activity undertaken by many of our team personally. 

In the coming months, we’ll be partnering with a local organization to volunteer and continue supporting the Ukrainian community. More on this to come.  

How You Can Help 

There's something all of us can do, and we invite you to support the cause. Our team has compiled a list of Canadian organizations who provide support to the Ukrainian community, directly in Ukraine and in Canada. 

Donate: By donating, you can help organizations access all the necessary resources required to support the Ukrainian community, in Ukraine as well as in Canada. 

Volunteer: Seek out your local Ukrainian community to find out what they might need and how you can support them. 

Speak Out & Share: Keep talking about the injustice of this conflict. Share with your community and on social media, and if you know of other organizations supporting Ukraine, please share them with us.  

Organizations You Can Support 
Canada Helps 

Learn more: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/ 

Donation Focus 

- Medical aid, protecting children, providing water, food and shelter 

- Securing temporary housing for refugees 

How to Donate 

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/donate-to-ukraine/ 

- Donations accepted in one-time or monthly payments 

- Registered charity 

- Instant Tax receipt available 

Ukrainian Canadian Social Services Toronto 

Learn more: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/ 

Donation Focus 

- Counselling services that offer support for newcomers/ refugees, domestic abuse, income tax clinics 

- Housing support 

- Mental health services 

- Translation/ interpretation 

    How to Donate 

    https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/14999 

    - Donations accepted in one-time or monthly payments 

    - Registered charity 

    - Instant Tax receipt available 

      Canada-Ukraine Foundation  

      Learn more: https://www.cufoundation.ca/ 

      Donation Focus 

      - Aid to some of the hardest hit cities (withholding exact location for security) 
      - Assistance for displaced families in Romania and Moldova 

      Working with more than a dozen organizations: 

      - ex) HelpAge International which is helping refugees in Moldova and delivering food, medicine, hygiene supplies to older people and their families 

      How to Donate 

      https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/70605 

      - Donations accepted in one-time or monthly payments 

      - Donations can be made in memory of someone or in dedication to someone 

      - Tax Receipt Information available in donation link 

        Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society 

        Learn more: https://cuias.org/wp/ 

        Donation Focus 

        - Resettlement Support for Refugees in Canada including language training, immigration consulting 

        - Support of Ukrainian students studying in Canada who have lost they source of financial support – Link to “Canada Helps” 

          How to Donate 

          https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/id/2311 

          - All donations are through “Canada Helps” 

          - Donations accepted in one-time or monthly payments 

          - Registered charity 

          - Instant Tax receipt available 

          - Include “Stand with Ukraine” in the message box 

            St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church 

            Learn more: http://saintnicholas.ca/ 

            How to Donate 

            http://saintnicholas.ca/ 

            - Via PayPal 

              Disasters Emergency Committee 

              Learn more: https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal 

              Donation Focus 

              - Food, water, shelter, healthcare and protection 

              - £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month 

              - £50 could provide blankets for four families 

              - £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month 

                How to Donate 

                https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal