As British Columbians watch from afar what is taking place in Ukraine, 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 support.
"It’s easy for Canadians to dismiss things that are happening in other countries and abroad but Canada has an incredibly long and proud history of Ukraine-Canadians,” says Devon Sereda Goldie, who also grew up in a Ukrainian-Canadian family.
As she watches the news from B.C.'s capital on Friday, she has a heavy sense of dread and fear.
"Your Ukraine friends are hurting; we have ties to this country, we are deeply connected to this country and our family and friends and communities... we are hurting,” she says. "It is horrible seeing what is happening right now.”
Contact your local MP
British Columbians interested in supporting Ukrainian people should first contact their local member of Parliament, Sereda Goldie says.
“Ask them to stand with Ukraine and to enforce tough sanctions on Russia,” she tells Glacier Media.
"We’re also asking Canada and the United Nations and allies to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine because the air attacks right now are horrific.”
This is something she strongly suggests and says there’s more information on the Ukrainian Canadian Congress website about MP information.
Attend local rallies
Next, she suggests people attend their local rallies wherever they might be across the country.
"It may seem like something small that might not make a difference, but it makes a big difference for us. Not just because we take a lot of emotional solaces knowing that our fellow Canadians are standing by our side, but also because it helps bring attention to the wider public having these large rallies brings prominence in the media, but also again to the government.”
A large rally is being planned in Victoria on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
"It brings attention that this is something that Canadians are not OK with,” she says. "We would love for people who are not Ukrainian [to come out]; it’s a solidarity rally so all are welcome.”
Make a donation
For those who want to help financially, Sereda Goldie suggests the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
"They are an incredibly reputable organization that has a long-standing history within the Ukraine community,” she says.
The money will go toward basic needs like food packages, medicine and first-aid kits — “on-the-ground supplies that people need right now."
The fundraiser has been organized by the Canada Ukraine Foundation and is supported by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Reach out to friends
A simple, but meaningful way to show support is to check in on friends or community members to see how they’re doing.
“Just a message to say, ‘Hi, I am thinking of you, are you doing OK?’ really goes a long way,” she says.
Many supportive messages have been sent to the Victoria branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, something Sereda Goldie says gives her a boost.
Show support on social media
Lastly, she suggests showing your support on social media by using the hashtag #StandWithUkraine.
"There is an international campaign #StandWithUkraine that's being run by the Ukraine World Congress and it has really blown up 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.