Ukrainian newcomers receive new winter coats thanks to PAGC donation

PAGC invited Ukrainian families who recently relocated to Prince Albert for pizza and snacks at the SHARE building before offering them a generous donation of winter clothing, toys, and food hampers for their first holiday season away from home. -- Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald

The 36 families that have recently settled in Prince Albert as a result of the war in Ukraine will be warm all winter thanks to a generous donation of new cold weather gear from the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC). 

The Ukrainian families and members of the PAGC gathered together for a meal at the SHARE building on Friday evening, where winter jackets, ski pants, mittens and toques were distributed among the newcomers, all sponsored by the First Nations organization. 

“This is a special evening tonight and I would like to sincerely thank the PAGC for their amazing work that they do for the community. I can’t thank them enough, they are wonderful people,” said Sonya Jahn, who helps look after all the Ukrainian people living in Prince Albert. 

On top of the winter clothing, toys and food hampers filled with meat and vegetables were given to the Ukrainian families to help them get started up within their new community. More than 100 Ukrainian newcomers currently call Prince Albert home, with more expected to come in the near future.

“They’ve made a positive difference in their lives, especially this being their first Christmas away from their families and many of them are going through tough times,” Jahn said.

PAGC Vice Chief Chris Jobb said the Prince Albert Grand Council is all about making people feel warm and welcome.

“As an organization, we always try to extend our hearts and extend a hand to the people that are going through these kinds of situations,” said Jobb. “We do what we can, with God we can do anything.”

Betty Marleau, who oversaw PAGC’s donation, said they wanted to do something for the Ukrainian families who are experiencing hardships from relocating to a brand new country.

“We know it’s cold here so we want to give out some jackets,” she said. “It’s always good to have a couple extra.”

Friday’s event is part of a larger project, said Marleau. Out of the 3,000 jackets that were originally purchased, hundreds have also been donated to children attending local public schools and to PAGC’s warming shelter, Moose Lodge, for individuals facing homelessness.