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How many blankets can you buy for over $88,500? The answer is 2,693. That is about $33.00 CAD per blanket.

In the fall of 2022, the Rotary Club of Kharkiv-New Level in the Ukraine
headquartered in Krasnodarsky, Kharkiv Province), a club that had only been formed in May 2021, put out a call for blankets as the war continued and winter approached.

Originally their goal had been to “work on projects dedicated to greening and landscaping Kharkiv,” however when the war occurred they switched gears to helping the city and region survive. At first they concentrated on  providing food and medicines. Later they became a “Humanitarian HUB” in oder to help as many people as possible. Eventually this included helping “the Army by providing warm blankets, thermal underwear, boots, medicines and hygiene products.”

Under the leadership of Gerhard Peters of the Rotary Club of Arnprior, District  7040 took up the challenge to assist the Ukraine and Peters became Blanket Project Co-ordinator.

The blankets were the project of choice because they paid the double dividend of supplying warmth but work too as they were manufactured in the Ukraine. Each blanket was of good quality 3-layer material (waterproof fabric + insulation + Coat fabric) measuring 60" x 78" with sewing carried out by the Kharkiv sewing enterprise “Kentvar”.

Many of the blankets were distributed in the  severely destroyed village of Shchevchenkove, outside of Khravik  near the Russian border.

According to RC of Kingston President, Alicia Gordon our club became involved when the war started because she purchased, at cost, some “Support the Ukraine”  signs from Rotarian JIm Reavell of Campbellford, and began selling them out of her garage to anyone who would purchase one for a donation including family members.

Alicia said, “I was waiting for an opportunity to use the $2,500 I had collected, wisely.”

When she learned that the District would match funds she reached out to Rotarian Bernie Robinson and asked him to match the money she had collected so when the District matched those funds we added another 250 blankets.

You can see the club’s name on the sign in the feature photo.

Gerhard Peters in an update to Club Presidents, wrote “In addition to those shown on the banner, in the photo supplied by RC Kharvik-New Level the Rotary Clubs and people of Kemptville, ON, Carleton Place & Mississippi Mills, ON,  Kingston-Cataraqui, ON,  Plattsburgh, NY and the Plattsburgh Sunrise, NY Clubs  should be added to the banner in the next version.

The Kharvik-New Level thank you photos were supplied by Gerhard.