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'It's very painful to watch': volunteer cooks raise funds for Ukraine


A group of volunteers at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Anthony came together Tuesday to cook up some local support for Ukraine.

They’re making traditional Orthodox Easter bread and dozens of perogies in preparation for Friday’s dinner, which will donate 100 per cent of its proceeds to humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

The church works with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukraine Foundation, which have both worked in Ukraine for many years, according to St. Anthony Ukrainian Orthodox Church Outreach Co-ordinator Donna Reed.

“They’ve already got established warehouses, roots of transport and connections through the countries all around Ukraine to be able to transport into Ukraine and along the borders where people are crossing as well,” said Reed.

Despite the preparation ahead of this week’s dinner, some volunteers took a pause from their work to watch Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in his address to parliament Tuesday morning.

“He has really put Ukraine at the forefront of the world’s minds. He’s standing firm, he’s standing tall, he’s a hero,” said Reed.

She’s in agreement with the politician, on his calls for a no fly zone over Ukraine. “As a Ukrainian Canadian, my interest says close the sky but I do see a practical reason for the hesitation at this time.”

Reed says although she is a few generations removed from knowing family in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion has still taken an emotional toll.

“It's a hard thing to describe but it’s painful, it’s very painful to watch what we’re seeing on television,” said Reed.

That sentiment is also shared by volunteer Harry Nichiporik.

“In today’s time, it’s just unconscionable that somebody would have that kind of conscience that has no feeling in regards to people’s lives,” said Nichiporik.

The church is also accepting additional donations on top of food orders being made for its Friday dinner. 

Reed said in an email to CTV News Wednesday that due to an overwhelming response from Edmontonians the dinner is sold out and they've stopped taking orders.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Alison MacKinnon Top Stories

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