Salvation Army Calls on Canadians to Support Humanitarian Aid in Ukraine and Bordering Countries

van with Salvation Army logo and food supplies
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The Salvation Army is active in 132 countries worldwide that includes Ukraine, where they have had a presence since 1993. The Salvation Army in Canada is calling on friends and neighbours to financially support relief efforts underway.

“Our hearts are with all those who are suffering,” says Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander for Canada and Bermuda. “As an international Salvation Army, we continue to uphold the principles of compassion, care and service. Even in these dark moments, we trust in God for comfort and strength.”

Currently, The Salvation Army’s efforts to respond to the greatest of needs include:

Ukraine: (Updated April 4) Kropyvnytski – Officers and volunteers are seeing more than 100 people per day. They are still able to purchase supplies but it is limited. Lviv – The corps/church is receiving pallets of aid from Poland. This has been arranged by International Emergency Services.  This is to be a weekly occurrence so that aid continues to flow to Lviv.  The officers have had discussions with the local government to create a camp for people to stay that has kitchen and bathroom facilities, they are hopeful that a school may be made available for this purpose

(Updated March 28) The joint work between The Salvation Army’s international emergency services, the Poland Division and a Salvation Army team from Germany got goods to Ukraine. They were received by the officers/pastors in Lviv and the distribution of these items to families in need began immediately.

(Updated March 5) The Salvation Army keeps distributing food items to desperate people. The Red Cross also provides them with prepared cut fabrics for weaving camouflage nets and every day The Salvation Army hands out more than 100 pieces of those to displaced people at the train station.

(updated March 4) People are coming to the corps/church and corps officers’/pastors houses for shelter. They are providing food, and other necessities. Twenty-two babies were born in the subway in Kyiv and The Salvation Army provided diapers, formula and hygiene products to the women. Women are giving birth prematurely because of the stress they are under.

Romania: (Updated April 29) The IES team is still supporting the operation at the RomEx centre in Bucharest in coordination with the municipality and other stakeholders. TSA is responsible to provide supermarket vouchers for families with children (one voucher per child). As of yesterday 26/04/2022, 6,774 vouchers have been distributed to 4,459 families. Each of these families has also received an information flyer regarding the risks of human trafficking. On average the team sees 172 families per day.

(Updated April 4)The teams continue to work at the border, although the numbers are slowing down. There is a higher number of people in Bucharest, which has meant that the work has risen in the capital. There is a government site ‘Romexpo’, which The Salvation Army is assisting with giving out vouchers and food/clothes parcels. In the last two and half weeks, they have served almost 5,000 people.  People from Ukraine have started to find work, so come to TSA for referrals and information regarding employment and education for children.

(Updated April 2) The Salvation Army is working in a refugee reception centre in Bucharest providing anti-human trafficking information and supermarket vouchers. To date, 2195 vouchers have been distributed

(Updated March 14) Tens of thousand of refugees passed through the Siret swamp in Romania, The Salvation Army emergency team offered help to complete asylum seekers documents, gave advise how to obtain biometric ID documents, assisted with family reunifications with family members waiting outside the camp and coordinated the needs for and distribution of relief material and other support with the other stakeholders.

(Updated March 8) Tens of thousand of refugees passed through the Siret swamp in Romania. The Salvation Army emergency team offered help to complete asylum seekers documents, gave advise how to obtain biometric ID documents, assisted with family reunifications with family members waiting outside the camp and coordinated the needs for and distribution of relief material and other support with the other stakeholders.

(Updated March 5) In addition to the operation on the border, The Salvation Army now also offers some temporary accommodation. They have also been asked to work in coordination with other stakeholders in some of the mobile refugee camps.

(Updated March 4) Salvation Army made contact with government and other agencies and are assisting with refugee camp. They are going in teams for six-hour hour shifts. Teams are also going to the north of the country in small teams to assist. The Salvation Army’s anti-human trafficking network assisted three cases of human trafficking and are working with authorities in the prevention of human trafficking. Increasing numbers are crossing the border into Romania. The Salvation Army assisted a lady from Bucharest to the Ukraine Border with the help of other agencies where she crossed and met her 12-year-old daughter who was in Ukraine alone. They came back to Romania and are safe and well.

(Updated March 2) Teams are consistently rotating out to be on the ground and providing assistance, supplies and emotional and spiritual counseling as needed. Many refugees at the moment are in transit. The Salvation Army says one family they encountered was a woman and her seven-year-old daughter who fled Kyiv. They drove to the border  in Siret and when they crossed The Salvation Army met them. She had recently spent all her money to buy a new flat, that was almost finished, and heard already that it’s destroyed now. Thankfully she has escaped to safety, has to restart her life now, and not sure what country to choose. She didn’t have a place to stay, so the team arranged overnight lodging at a hotel, which has opened it’s doors for refugees to sleep, shower and eat.

While at the border, the team handed out flyers about the dangers of human trafficking. Already three known cases have been identified where individuals were saved directly from providing the information for prevention.

Austria: (Updated April 29) We have been collecting funds through the Corps and through our fundraising unit. In addition we have given a contact number to IHQ to pass on to the Salvation Army  Units of the neighbouring countries to Ukraine. The Corps has also collected some materials like sleeping bags, toiletries, blankets and handed them over to the Ukrainian Church here in Vienna.

Belgium: (Updated March 28) A young Ukrainian woman has been financially supported for transportation to Brussels from Romania. She was welcomed on arrival in Belgium and is now in temporary accommodation provided by the Belgian Salvation Army team.

Bulgaria: (Updated May 3) Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, The Salvation Army has been involved in helping the refugees from Ukraine, both in Bulgaria and in neighboring countries. In Bulgaria, since the end of February, we have been helping refugees in all possible ways. Distributing food packages for refugee families as well as helping link refugees with other churches, NGOs and volunteers. In recent weeks, we learned about the growing number of refugees coming to Bulgaria from Odessa, Ukraine through the “Durankulak” GPP and we decided to send a smaller team to support the work at the border point itself. On the spot we worked together with the Red Cross humanitarian organization, Bulgaria to help buy and donate the necessary food supplies. At the same time, we distributed coffee, tea, water, sandwiches and soup to the refugees arriving.

Thanks to having several Russian-speaking people among us in the team, we were able to work together with local officials and greet the Ukrainian refugees arriving not only with a sandwich – but also with a smile and greeting in a language they know.

(Updated April 4) Two of the officers from Bulgaria are going to the Bulgaria/Romanian border for four days. They are joining with the Red Cross.  They will assist with the distribution of food parcels, hot meals and a listening ear as they speak Russians.  In the last several days 400 people we served and helped. People wanting to go back to Ukraine, to find relatives to bring them out of Ukraine or to go home.

Czech Republic: (Updated February 27) Czech Republic is already home to some 200,000 Ukrainians and therefore anticipates many refugees who will seek support from family and friends in Czech Republic. The Salvation Army has available capacity in the existing social services in Czech Republic so they stand ready to provide support.

Denmark: (Updated April 3) The Denmark Territory is preparing a project in Tønder (boarder city with Germany). The territory has a current project for disadvantaged families, in cooperation with local municipality. Many Ukrainians are coming and seeking assistance etc. Currently, negotiations are on the municipal level, but as The Salvation Army “already” has the people at our doorstep, we will be supporting with social programs, basic aid like food/hygiene/inclusion and programs for kids.

France: (Updated April 29) The Salvation Army serves meals in the hub which orientates Ukrainians in Paris.The Salvation Army also serves coffee for the people in the waiting line and spends time to play with the kids and to listen to people.

(Updated March 28) The Salvation Army’s social institutions in France are ready to assist as capable and we are in discussion with the French state regarding the management of locations for refugee accommodation (centres, hotels). In Le Havre (western France), we are officially responsible for the social support of Ukrainian refugees, both in the first emergency reception centres and in more permanent accommodation with private individuals or in accommodation made available by them or local authorities.

Germany: (Updated March 24) From Germany the Berlin South West Corps/church reports the following: “We are ready to help with 25 emergency beds. We are working closely with wonderful volunteers at the Berlin-Südkreuz Train Station. The corps then spontaneously welcomed 20 refugees from Ukraine in one night. Overnight guests received breakfast, lunch, dinner, laundry, hygiene, conversations, caring, prayers and much more.  

From Kassel they report:  “At the Wilhelmshöhe station the emergency truck is distributing hot drinks and information about the aid system. Also, the community spaces now serve as a cafe where the refugees get food, drinks and access to wifi.”

Georgia: (Updated April 4) Georgia is now starting to see displaced people from Ukraine in Georgia. They have travelled through Russia.In Batumi and Tbilisi, The Salvation Army is providing assistance including food parcels, hygiene supplies, clothes and blankets.

Greece: (Updated May 3)The Salvation Army in Greece is welcoming and supporting refugees from Ukraine. One afternoon each week the doors of The Salvation Army building in Athens are opened for “The Meeting Point;” a space where refugees can meet each other, make connections with others living in the area, and receive any necessary practical assistance.

Advertised only via social media groups and word of mouth, the group is growing larger week by week. “Last Tuesday we welcomed over 60 people,” shares major Annette Rieder Pell. “After having lived in Ukraine a few years ago, I was once again able to use my Ukrainian and Russian language to welcome and chat with our guests as they were being registered. It was fabulous to see the children playing together in the garden and to hear the buzz of connections and friendships being formed over a cup of tea or coffee. Being able to assist the parents with practical matters such as organizing COVID vaccines, completing their applications for refugee status and offering supermarket vouchers to provide for their families’ most immediate needs is a great privilege.”

(Updated April 3) Providing  sim cards and supermarket vouchers to Ukrainian refugees.

Hungary: (Updated Ma 3) In collaboration with Baptista, The Salvation Army is invited to take shifts at the border regularly. The hope point in Tiszabecs provides the first needed support to all the refugees coming form Ukraine: Food, Accommodation, Medical Services and Advisory Service for the continuing journey.

The building where TSA has the corps/church is a very active institution with different activities.  A very good collaboration between the corps and the institution has resulted in the creation of a temporary shelter in the corps room. Beds are available for refugees needing a space to sleep and food is available with the institution.

(Updated April 29)The Salvation Army in Hungary has travelled almost 9000 km and spent 1500 hours in recent weeks to help Ukrainian refugees. Quote from Regional Director Michael Staiesse: “It is great to be part of an international organization. With the interaction of all actors, we can make a lot of things happen.”

(Updated March 24) Requests for sleeping bags, mattresses, blankets and hygiene items. With the help of many motivated volunteers, including a retired General, 700 boxes were packed. The Salvation Army was given access and space at a Baptist warehouse and the boxes and 125 mattresses were delivered.

(Updated March 5) The Salvation Army Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory is supporting the Hungary Division in their response both with personnel from within the territory and basic relief items. An emergency team is on their way to the border where they will work with Baptist Aid to support refugees crossing the border (helping welcoming people at the border and in the emergency shelter, and  providing emotional and spiritual care). In Budapest this weekend, 22 places will be made available for the reception of refugees. Accommodation at other reception centres and Salvation Army places is also currently being planned. The Gyöngyös Corps and Remeniség Center are ready to cook for 20-40 people as soon as the city will extend its help to receive more refugees. And the Corps officers/pastors in Debrecen and Miskolc have also mobilized to help at different border posts.

Lithuania: (Updated April 3) Providing food and non-food items as well as voucher to Ukrainian refugees in Klaipeda and Vilnius. Offering vouchers for The Salvation Army’s 0wn second-hand shop and have expanded children’s activities to include refugee children.

Moldova: (Updated April 4) Salvation Army personnel are at the border with Romania. As they speak Russian this is a helpful with communication and translation.  They are distributing food items and information including AHT flyers. Different corps/churches are distributing food parcels, there are two main centers, central corps and Ialoveni. There has been an increase in numbers of people coming for food. The displaced people from Ukraine had money when they first arrived but as time goes the money that came with has now gone so they need help.

(Updated March 14) The Salvation Army works in coordination with the ‘Centre For Refugees Reception’ in the village of Mikhailany in the Ryshkansky district.

(Updated March 8) The Salvation Army works in coordination with the ‘Centre For Refugees Reception’ in the village of Mikhailany in the Ryshkansky district.

(Updated March 4) Increased numbers are crossing the border. All hotels and other accommodation is now full and hard to find. Salvation Army corps/churches and other Salvation Army units are accommodating people; this week they have 288 people accommodated overnight (this includes meals and hygiene packs given during stay). The Salvation Army has distributed 500 food parcels. Pillows, linen, blankets and hygiene packs have also given to those who need. Food and baby items (such as formula, diapers, clothes) were taken to the border for children’s hospital in Odessa. Ukraine military helped take the items from the boarder to hospital.

Netherlands: (Updated May 3) In Rotterdam, at the municipalities 42,440 people are registered. More than 10,000 Ukrainians are staying outside the reception facilities that municipalities have realized. The Salvation Army in the Netherlands is active on both ‘reception tracks’; we support and coordinate emergency reception in municipalities in numerous places.

Norway: (Updated May 3) The Salvation Army in Norway has opened its doors to Ukrainians fleeing in small and large places across the country. From Kirkenes in the north to Flekkefjord in the south, many people have been met with food, practical help, inclusive community and language training.

At Grønland corps in Oslo, Ukrainian refugees get a respite. Here they can talk, cry, play – and learn some Norwegian words. “This is a very concrete way of expressing our faith – by showing charity”, says their togetherness coordinator, Heidi Kristine Jørgensen.

(Updated April 3) As of Monday March 28th, The Salvation Army took on responsibility for one of Norway´s largest refugee emergency accommodation centres. “Kongsberg akuttmottak” will be housing 700 Ukrainian refugees, for two to three months at the time before they will be offered permanent housing in the municipalities. The center, situated in a recently shut-down university college, measures 15.000 m2 and offers four meals a day, health services, activities for the small children and primary and elementary school teaching, in cooperation with the town authorities. The Salvation Army has a one-year contract with the government for the operation of the center.

Around the territory, the corps have welcomed refugees into their fellowships. Material need, private housing and language training are among the activities.

Poland: (Updated April 29) The local Salvation Army organized a variety of assistance for Ukrainian refugees: shopping, delivering food or merchandise vouchers. The new refugee shelter also reached out to The Salvation Army for help.

(Updated March 19) Urgently needed food and non-food items have been transported to Ukraine via Poland. Additional trips are currently planned. Partnerships are proving key to meeting human needs.

(Updated March 2) In Poland, relief parcels are being prepared for the anticipated arrival of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees per day. Damaris Frick and Captain Matthew Beatty, of International Emergency Services (International Headquarters), are strategy planning with colleagues on the front line. The Salvation Army is currently preparing relief parcels for Ukrainian refugees coming into the country. Personnel from our international emergency services will travel there in a couple of days to work with the colleagues on the ground on a strategic plan for the response.

Russia: (Updated February 28) To date there are over 60,000 displaced people in the southern part of Russia and over 350,000 refugees from Ukraine in Russia. The Salvation Army is responding to their needs by providing food, hygiene and other relief items.

Slovakia: (Updated February 27) Salvation Army personnel are travelling to a town 50 km’s from the Ukraine border to access the situation. A plan of action in preparation for accommodation, material needs and emotional support has been formulated. An emergency response team consisting of representatives from Slovakia and Czech Republic will monitor the situation on a regular basis and prepare vital aid.

Spain: (Updated March 28) Currently it is the government of Spain through the city council of each city plus the Red Cross who are receiving the Ukrainian people in the country and then orienting the places that offer services and aid that are needed to provide shelter, food and containment for the displaced. We, as The Salvation Army, through each corps/church in the area, have contacted them and offered our resources at their disposal: food, shelter, temporary accommodation for the people. This last service is not available everywhere but in two cities in Spain: Denia and Coruña.

Switzerland: (Update April 29)In the city of Bern, The Salvation Army operates the following projects: In the Federal Asylum Centre, the Salvation Army together with Caritas continues to operate the placement office for the placement of persons with status S in host families. (over 1’000 people have been placed so far).The operation of the Initial Reception Centre (EAZ) with 500 places in the civil defence facility “Allmend” is now entirely managed by The Salvation Army. Management of 4 collective accommodations (short-term shelters) with approx. 280 places, a fifth collective accommodation is being planned (capacity of 130-150). Establishment of the operation of the largest above-ground collective accommodation in Switzerland with 1000 places in a container village in Bern’s “Viererfeld”. The first information events for refugees in the city of Bern took place in the hall of the Corps Bern. The Hope clothing drop-off centre in Zurich has been opened (12.04) and is meeting a real need.  453 vouchers have been used (one voucher allows a person to collect 10 items of clothing) At the main train station in Zurich, the reception of refugees from Ukraine continues with warm drinks and sandwiches. Since 21.03: 4’500 people have been served. In Geneva, the reception and accommodation of Ukrainian refugees continues in several locations.

We are aware that The Salvation Army in other European countries are also planning to respond to the needs of refugees arriving there and are grateful for the amazing solidarity and willingness to support.

Click here and change a life today. Your gift will provide emergency food and housing, counselling, transportation and other essentials for people impacted by the situation in Ukraine and bordering countries in central Europe.