“When you see them come out of a car with a suitcase, there is no regret.”
That is just one of the many thoughts that Tanya Finley has about her journey to host a family of four from Ukraine.
Finley, who is the owner of Finley’s Bar and Grill in Nelson, said that she got the call on March 17 that there was a refugee family in Lillooet that was unable to live there. It was at that point when she put her plan into action and brought the family, consisting of mom, dad, and the seven-year-old twin boys, to Nelson.
Initially Finley was worried about whether this family would be safe and secure but mostly whether everything would work out with their new environment. “I am very proud of this community, they been showing their support by dropping off gift cards,” she said.
The conditions in Ukraine have been described, by this family, as one of horror. Seeing up to 30 tanks in the street, and hearing “sounds of war” have had a traumatizing impact on this family, Finley said. The worst part was leaving family, friends, and all that they have worked so hard for behind then having to come around the globe to another country and start all over again.
Finley fears that refugees do not have access to the proper services that they require. “Federal, and provincial governments are saying support for up to two weeks is accessible, but in order to qualify for funding they need a SIN (social insurance number), and a bank account,” Finley says, but that process can take up to 15 days just to get a SIN number.
“The community could handle one, or two families, and I am confident that if there was a demand for more that Nelson would step up and provide whatever help that was needed,” Finley said. “Anyone who is considering helping a family in need can get in touch with me or contact a credit union in Nelson for information on providing assistance,” she said.
Finley’s Bar and Grill raised just over $8,500 to help support Ukrainian refugees and continues to support the cause, and you can help by donating at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/highlands-baptist-church/campaign/ukrainian-refugee-nelson/.