Eastern Ontario village expresses solidarity with Ukraine
At Pickle & Myrrh in Merrickville, Ontario, owner Erin Kergen and her family are doing what they can to help Ukraine.
“We’ve been putting this out for two days now,” Kergen said, referring to a gift basket filled with treats and local merchandise, which is expected to be raffled off.
“We’re at $1,500 this morning.”
A few blocks away, the family-run Mainstreet Restaurant is gearing up for a four-course Ukrainian meal on Sundays.
“It’s a one-day event,” owner Mike Neelin said. “We will allow a few appointments, but the super hour is full – 50-60 people.”
These are just a few companies participating in the Merrickville-Wolford stands with Ukraine initiative, led by the Merrickville-Wolford Chamber of Commerce.
“We believe a small community can play a role in helping other parts of the world,” said Yves Grandmaitre of the Merrickville-Wolford Chamber of Commerce.
Yellow and blue banners are visible throughout the village. From meals to activities, the community is all in. Proceeds go to Ukrainian relief efforts.
The initiative officially starts on Sunday. The municipality declares March 20 Ukrainian Day. Over the next three weeks, the goal is to raise $15,000.
“You see people coming from Kemptville, Brockville, Ottawa and they’re all participating in this,” said Trevor Johnson, co-owner of Violets on Main Street.
They sold their donuts early every day – with the profits going directly to the initiative.
Back at Pickle and Myrrh, Kergen’s family has just finished placing their flag in front of the store.
“It was easy, but my dad’s role was tough,” said six-year-old Willow.
“Every little bit counts and everyone is doing what they can,” added dad, Tyler.
Many here in Merrickville-Wolford are confident they will exceed their goal by Easter.
“I don’t even care if I win,” said Darlene Dier, who purchased five raffle tickets from Pickle & Myrrh. “Just being able to help in some way makes me feel better.”
“Being part of a small village, it doesn’t matter if you’re small,” Kergen said. “People really care and it’s about how much heart you have not the size.”