Canadian businessman and philanthropist. W. Brett Wilson shares his birthday with that of Canada, and today he marked the occasion with a campaign to support Ukraine through an awareness campaign and financial contribution. 

In advance of July 1, Wilson purchased 150 unique hoodies in Ukraine colours to give away. In return, the recipients were asked to pay it forward if possible. He also asked recipients to post a selfie on social media on July 1 with four different hashtags to spread the word.

Originally, 50 hoodies were available but quickly grew to 150 due to the response.

The awareness push was coupled with a $7,500 Cdn. personal donation by Wilson to UNICEF Canada towards the Ukrainian relief efforts.

Among the participants is Kelly Carson, executive director of the Cochrane and District Chamber of Commerce.

"I think it's a fantastic thing. When you see the hoodie, it certainly symbolizes the tragedy that's going on there."

Carson says many Ukrainian families have arrived with next to nothing, no matter their financial status in Ukraine, and more are coming with next to nothing. He takes comfort in knowing UNICEF will be administering the funds donated.

"We know any money that goes to UNICEF will get in the right hands. That was something important, and certainly, Brett is synonymous with his philanthropy and doing things like this. It's a good cause and I'm glad I'm involved."

A personal letter from Wilson received by Carson concludes, "Let's hope that this war comes to an end soon and that Russia pays for the tremendous damages they have caused. #PuckPutin."

The Carsons were among the many Cochranites who have directly helped refugees arriving in the community, and he salutes Cochranites for living up to their reputation of supporting worthy causes.