Among the pile of toiletries, Tania and her six-year-old daughter Aurora are looking for a child’s toothbrush.

The pair recently arrived in Ottawa with their family and like the hundreds of others fleeing from the war in Ukraine, they came with next to nothing. 

“Three days ago they came,” said volunteer Alina Korual, translating for Tania. “With two kids, a cat and three luggage.”

Koryak was helping the newcomers who come from her home city in Ukraine pick out items from the Arrival Welcome Hub located at 250 Greenbank Road. Many of the clothing, toys and essentials were donated by the community.

“I’m happy they’re here,” she said. “They left everything, all their life in their country without nothing. We are here to help them start a new life. We are here to help them.”

This temporary space has been in operation since the start of April. Starting May 2, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress will have a permanent location.

“The Maidan Market is going to be at the Westgate Shopping Centre. The name was inspired by a location in Kyiv,” said Olenka Bastian with the UCC Ottawa Chapter.  The distribution centre will be a storefront where people can collect essential items. Eventually offering resources like English classes and ways to find employment.

“The need in the hub is to make a Ukrainian connection,” she said.

The Arrival Welcome Hub says they received many clothing donations. But what they need now are monetary donations to help purchase tactical first-aid supplies to send to Ukraine. You can find more on their Facebook group, Ottawa Supports Ukraine.