LETTER: Ukraine must not be forgotten

There are many justifiable reasons to be preoccupied in these dark and troubled times but I ask anyway – please remember Ukraine.

These days there are many tragedies and conflicts to compete for our sympathy and energy. Wars and tragedies overseas take a toll on us. We are all human, and witnessing or reading reports of suffering and death makes us suffer too.

We’re not helpless – there are things we can do to support the fight for a better world. As part of that fight, The Rotary Club of Picton made a commitment last year to help the people of Ukraine fight against Russia’s war of aggression. With help from community members and sponsors, Rotary raised over $100,000 for medical supplies and child relief support programs..

To continue honouring that commitment, Picton Rotary Club is holding our second Ukrainian Fundraising Event on Nov. 18, with the money raised again going to medical supplies and child relief programs in Ukraine.

The fundraiser will be held at Rotary Hall (located within the Picton Arena) on Nov. 18 commencing at 5 p.m. The event will include a tasty Ukrainian dinner and Ukrainian music, plus a silent auction of wine and valuable donated gifts. Videos of PEC dollars at work in Ukraine will be featured .

Perhaps you have a question in mind right now – when so many places and people in the world need help, why have another Ukraine fundraising event? Because Ukraine continues to desperately need our help. Ukrainian cities continue to be reduced to rubble as winter begins, including hospitals, schools and electrical grids. Our support is urgently needed to help Ukrainians in their fight, and to help heal the wounds caused by this ongoing war.

Tragically, Ukrainian soldiers are making a great personal sacrifice for their country. Since the start of the war on Feb. 24, 2022, the Ukrainian military has experienced over 70,000 deaths and an additional 151,000 or more wounded.

These are staggering numbers.

By comparison Canadian Armed Forces casualty numbers during the six years of World War II saw 44,090 killed and 54,414 wounded. Due to indiscriminate terror bombings by Russia, civilian deaths are equally tragic. The current toll is 9,811 killed and 18,143 wounded. This includes more than 1,200 children. The entire country has been traumatized by this war, with over 1.5 million Ukrainians suffering from PTSD.

We hope you can join us for this Ukrainian fundraiser event on Nov. 18, yes you can help.

Sign on to our website pictonrotary.ca for tickets to our event. Tax receipts will be issued.

Bob Bird

On behalf of the Rotary Club of Picton