Thanks to the generosity of people in the Cowichan Valley, local businesses, and fellow service clubs, the Knights of Columbus in Duncan plans to send more than 200 wheelchairs to war-ravaged Ukraine.
With help from the Duncan and Malahat Lions’ clubs, The Knights of Columbus says it raised more than $40,000 over a six-week period, which will allow it to purchase 215 wheelchairs.
That’s more than double the Knights’ original goal of 100 wheelchairs for soldiers and civilians in Ukraine who were severely injured in the Russian invasion.
In past years, the Knights have raised money to provide wheelchairs to third-world countries, but the target of 100 for Ukraine was daunting.
Donations were collected online and at an in-person event, and corporate sponsors, such as Country Grocer and Save-On-Foods, and local Estate wineries, stepped forward to help.
Knights of Columbus wheelchair committee chair Mike Thorpe says the public response to the 100 Wheelchairs for Ukraine program was tremendous.
He says some donors even gave the $195 to purchase a wheelchair outright.
The Knights have worked with the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation since 2003 to send wheelchairs overseas.
The Foundation handles the purchase and delivery of wheelchairs and also provides tax receipts to donors.
The Duncan Knights of Columbus launched the campaign after seeing news reports of the horrific situation in Ukraine, including a man transporting an older lady in a wheelbarrow.