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NASHI Fundraiser for Ukraine Maple Leaf House

Fundraiser strong in support for Ukraine
ukraine evacuation to EU
Maple Leaf House in Ukraine has evacuated its residents to Poland.

PREECEVILLE - Everyone is following the news and the awful war taking place in Ukraine which is touching many lives close to home with Ukrainian ancestry, stated Heather Gawrelitza.

On March 4, Global News televised a news report featuring NASHI vice-president Andrew Allsopp from Saskatoon. The news report talked about the Saskatoon-based charity NASHI that opened the Maple Leaf House in Lviv, Ukraine in 2015 as a home for girls escaping poor living conditions, abuse, and human trafficking. The news report told about the 17 girls that were evacuating Ukraine and have since safely arrived in Poland.

Heather Gawrelitza from Preeceville reported that Andrew Allsopp and Marjorie Biccum are her uncle and aunt, and along with Theresa Petrowski of Preeceville and many others from Saskatchewan have been to the Maple Leaf House and know the good work being done by the NASHI charity. “This charity is near and dear to many of our family including our Baba Mary Petrowski, of Preeceville who has visited the Ukraine and still has family there.” If you would like to give support to our fellow Ukrainians, donations can be made through Gawrelitza and dropped off at Preeceville Agencies. 

Gawrelitza also organized a fundraiser that was held on March 17 at the Golden West Hotel in Preeceville that sold 50/50 tickets, raffle tickets and featured fun game trivia. “It was a great night with approximately $1,500 being raised for the NASHI organization,” said Gawrelitza.

The community where the girls from Maple Leaf House in Ukraine had lived had not been attacked but the girls had been spending many nights in the dark, away from the windows with sounds of air-raid sirens blaring. Allsopp described the anxieties of the girls as, “You take kids who have already been traumatized in life who are just starting to heal and you throw war at them.”  The current goal was for the girls to cross the border into Poland. Maple Leaf House is only 60 kilometres from the Polish border but the girls’ bus had been caught in long lineups of people trying to escape. 

There has since been an update on the March 6 NASHI Our Children Facebook page that the girls have arrived safely in Poland and have been warmly welcomed. The situation on what happens next depends on the status and duration of the war, reports the NASHI Facebook page. The girls consider the Maple Leaf House their home and that all of them are sisters even though most are not related. The hope is for them to be able to return home to the Maple Leaf House in Ukraine but NASHI is prepared to provide the support to keep the girls together and move them to the Saskatoon area if the need arises. The girls are familiar with many people from the NASHI charity who have visited them in the Ukraine and kept in contact over the years.