Sharing Boomer’s Legacy: donations from Canada making a difference in Ukraine

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Article / May 2, 2017

By: Joint Task Force – Ukraine (JTF-U) Public Affairs

While training and professionalizing the Ukrainian Armed Forces is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) primary purpose on Operation UNIFIER, Joint Task Force – Ukraine (JTF-U) has also made it a priority to connect with the local community. Canadian soldiers recently saw two local charitable organizations in desperate need of support, and were able to help.

CAF members have made numerous visits to volunteer time at the Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre. Individual soldiers also raised funds for the Ukrainian charity OBEC over the past several months. From this, the specific hardships of these two organizations became clear to the members of JTF-U.

On behalf of Dzherelo and OBEC, JTF-U applied for and was granted over $13,000 from Boomer’s Legacy Fund. This money will improve the lives of Ukrainians who are facing difficult times.

“When I learned about Boomer’s Legacy Fund through the chaplaincy, its mandate sounded like a perfect fit for some of the outreach activities we were doing in Ukraine,” said Captain Min Kim, JTF-U Chaplain and lead on the initiative. “The connection we have made with the local community has been extremely beneficial for both sides: being able to help out by donating time or funds has been a great morale boost for task force members.”

Since its establishment in 2006, Boomer’s Legacy has provided funds so that members of the CAF serving on deployments around the world could help those most affected by war and poverty. The fund places emphasis on healthcare and education programs and services for women and children. Previously, projects have been completed in Afghanistan, Jamaica, Haiti, Thailand, and Kosovo.

The Boomer’s Legacy Fund will aid in two projects in Ukraine: hydrotherapy treatment for children, and the purchase of a prosthetic limb for a Ukrainian veteran.

Hydrotherapy is the most common form of rehabilitation for young children with physical and intellectual needs at the Dzherelo Centre.  It relieves discomfort, strengthens the muscles, and improves coordination.

“Nearly 70% of our funding comes from donations, so without the Boomer’s Legacy, there was a real possibility that we would not have been able to offer hydrotherapy sessions this year,” said Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre director Zoreslava Lyulchak. “These funds will directly improve the lives of over one hundred local children that participate in our hydrotherapy classes each year.”

The second project, through OBEC, is the purchase of a prosthetic for Ukrainian Armed Forces veteran Yurii Kozlovskyi. Mr. Kozlovskyi requires a prosthetic left leg below the knee. It will cost roughly $5800, which is prohibitive for many Ukrainians.

Through these funds, the deployed CAF members are making a positive impact in the community that they serve in.

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