Kelowna family gifts car to just-arrived Ukrainians

New car for Ukrainians

A Ukrainian family of three who arrived in Kelowna last weekend has been gifted a vehicle to help them start their life in Canada.

Speaking through a translator on Friday, the family's mother Iuliia Makavchuk said she and her two children are very excited and grateful.

"A big surprise for them, they did not expect it, and it’s exactly what they need right now to settle … Just happy, and very thankful to the people who gifted the vehicle. Happy, happy, happy."

The previous owner of the 2003 Honda Pilot says it’s a reliable vehicle that brought his family a lot of good memories, something he hopes continues under new ownership.

“I had the opportunity to buy a new car. I could obviously just sell this one and get some money, but we’re in a very fortunate position where it’s not going to be life changing for us to get that kind of income, so we just thought, you know, if we’re in the position to help out, I think we should," said donor Ryan Hosaki.

"I’ve had it for about eight years now, it was really good to me, I’ve put a lot of miles on it, and I hope it can be good to someone else too.”

The founder of Kelowna Stands with Ukraine tells Castanet he’s blown away by the generosity of locals, and that a donation like this makes all the difference.

“It’s a catch 22 in this way because they need to earn money to buy the vehicle, but they could not earn money without buying the vehicle. So for this family, this is solved and they can work on their life in Canada. We really hope more residents in Kelowna and the Okanagan can do the same," said Denys Storozhuk.

While children Maksym and Diana will start school at Rutland Senior Secondary and Rutland Middle School on Monday, Iuliia now has a car to go out and find work.

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