I would like to introduce you to Stephanie Rapko – a proud Ukrainian Canadian. In 2017, Stephanie spent a month in the Odesa Oblast, volunteering with English Language Summer Camps, and to this day, she still maintains contact with her Odesa friends on a regular basis by joining the online English Club meetings via Zoom. She is happy to report that all are doing well and remain safe.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Stephanie felt that she “needed to do something”. When she saw Members of Parliament on the news – wearing blue and yellow ribbons, she wanted one for herself, and an idea was born.
Enlisting the help of her mom, the two set to work. Iris sewed the two colours of ribbon together and then Stephanie cut and secured the loop with a stick pin. Stephanie then created a small letter sized poster and asked for the support of local businesses throughout Burlington, Waterdown and Hamilton (Ontario). Her niece even had a display in her business on Bloor St West in Toronto. Stephanie also posted messages across social media through Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The purpose of the ribbons was to just create awareness to support the people of Ukraine. It was never expected to collect any funds, however people were welcome to make a donation if they wanted to. From across the country, there were requests for ribbons. Donations ranged anywhere from $5 to $100. All funds were donated to both the Canada Ukraine Foundation and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Charitable Trust on three separate occasions (March, April and December 2022). A total of $3,666 was collected and thanks to generous matching partners, including Stephanie’s employer, Linamar Corp, the total amount donated was $8,946! Stephanie never expected her ribbon campaign to be such a success!
Stephanie proudly wears a ribbon on every one of her coats and people always comment on it when she is out and about. On behalf of the Ukrainian Community, THANK YOU, Stephanie, for your initiative and generosity!
Lesia M Skyba
UCC National Fundraising Manager
Dear UCC Donors, if you have a story of your own, please contact me via email email@example.com or phone 437-424-5880.