Sun Peaks Community Helps is gathering resources to help Ukrainians in finding refuge in the community.
Mayor Al Raine and community member Jim Alix are leading the way to coordinate support for those fleeing Ukraine through the local nonprofit. The organization was initially created to provide pandemic support, but Raine said it still has considerable funds left over and can help families moving to Sun Peaks.
“We’re just at the very beginning, early stages here,” Raine said. “We’re just getting feelers out, trying to figure out what resources we have in the community … We think we could easily bring two families, maybe even a third depending on how the resources stretch.”
Currently, Alix and Raine are looking for community members willing to provide accommodations for the families, help with social integration or act as translators.
Raine said they already have a couple people able to help, and several business owners willing to provide a job for those who want to work upon arrival. He hopes more community members will step up as well.
“We’re a pretty accommodating community, so I’m hoping that [support] is going to materialize,” Raine said.
Sun Peaks Community Helps has been working with Kamloops Immigration Services to make contact with those who coordinate the Ukrainians’ immigration.
Additionally, local Caroline Thompson plans to work with the community to provide insight as she travels to Poland to help her cousin from Ukraine find accommodation and sustain herself long-term.
“How amazing is it that as such a small community, we’re so driven to help in any way that we can?” Thompson said. “I feel grateful to be part of that.”