Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee is working in conjunction with Rockyview Immigrant Services to help Ukrainian newcomers get settled here in Cochrane. Kristina Kindree, president of CISC says, “In the last couple of months there were a few people reaching out to us either to support or host families from Ukraine or they know of a family coming to Cochrane from Ukraine.”
Kindree says CISC is a small passionate group of volunteers dedicated to helping individuals and families that are new to our area. It has proven beneficial for CISC to team up with RVIS to expand resources and funds to provide support and meet people’s needs. Kindree says, “We (CISC) are playing the role of a conduit to make sure that whoever reaches out to us to get the right support and get what they need with us being their guidance on connecting them with the right people.”
Kindree says that some new residents have reached out looking for support in various ways including accommodations, clothes, furniture, and food. Some families are coming with small children and are looking for language skills support.
Cochrane and area residents can help by letting CISC know of any new residents arriving in the area. CISC will ensure that they connect with the new arrivals and help them in any way they can.
There is an option to help through a cash donation. Kindree says that CISC and RVIS are not set up to receive cash donations however, St. Mary’s Parish and Father Dennis Vavrek can help with that. He is the contact person for Ukrainian newcomer's support donations so you can indicate the preference of your donation and Father Vavrek will ensure that donation is allocated appropriately. You can reach Father Vavrek at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-932-2944.
Kindree says another way to support the Ukrainian newcomers arriving in the area is by supporting the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank.
For those looking to become a host family, Kindree suggests that you reach out to the RVIS contact, Fleeha Ahmad at 403-604-2377. Kindree says she will, “Make sure that you have the right protocols and guidance on how to host a family because there are some safety protocols involved when you are hosting a family from Ukraine. It is not mandatory that you must do it, but I highly recommend it because there are things that we just do not think about.”
Kindree wants to let everyone know that CISC will be hosting a Newcomers Event on May 28 to welcome all the newcomers to Cochrane and the area. There will be fun activities for all ages, door prizes, food, and more. It will be an opportunity for the community to welcome the newcomers and for them to get to know people in town and connect with other newcomers. It will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cochrane Historic Ranch.