An Okotokian is looking to help a Ukrainian family find their feet after their move to Canada.

Andrea Stanchuk was first made aware of the couple and their daughter from a chance encounter.

After hiring a local lawn care company, she noticed a few of the men were Ukrainian, being of Ukrainian descent and speaking the language herself.

The owner of the company revealed that his wife's sister had moved to Canada with her husband and their daughter, landing in Calgary after having trouble finding work and healthcare in Ontario.

Their story stuck out to Andrea, with the family's father Vitalii having owned a car dealership and his wife Olesia having worked as a cardiologist in Sumy, Ukraine.

A Facebook post from Stanchuk details how their lives were suddenly upended:

"On the 23rd of February life was normal and making plans for the next weekend; birthday parties, friends' get-togethers, planning summer vacations, etcetera. (no different than us). Their lives changed at 5 a.m. on February 24th when they woke up to red skies from bombs and Russian tanks entering their city."

The thought of Vitalii, Olesia, and their six-year-old daughter Julia's lives could have been so instantly plunged into disarray stirred Stanchuk, who had already been looking for a way to offer assistance, to act.

"Ever since the war started, I was feeling guilty that this was going on and I physically could not help. We did what we could, my husband and I donated to the Ukrainian /Canadian Congress, to our church fundraiser... I just felt like, yes, money's always helpful, but I wanted something more tangible, I physically wanted to help."

Stanchuk's hoping to collect things like gift cards and smaller gifts for the family, who she describes as proud and reluctant to even receive donations.

She's also looking to help them find work and schooling of the family to restore a sense of normality.

By sharing their story, Stanchuk is also hoping to garner wider support for the countless Ukrainian families in a similar situation.

"If you have the means, the time, and the room to host a family for a couple months, or until the war ends, or to help them get situated into a rental house, at this point it's just helping them physically get settled so they're not in a homeless shelter in Calgary. They're very hardworking, giving people, you'll get some really fine borscht and perogies out of this. It'll go full circle if you help these people who have had to leave for safety, to stay alive and not live in a bomb shelter running out of water and food."

Anyone looking to help out Vitalii and Olesia can contact Stanchuk at, and for those looking to host or offer help to other families she recommends looking on the CANADA - Host Ukrainians / Hébergeons les Ukrainiens Facebook page.