The Portage Local Immigration Partnership (PLIP) partnered with many other organizations to give back to the Ukrainian newcomers and community by offering a free Ukrainian Holiday Event.

Megan Romphf, the Cultural Connector with PLIP, says that over 230 people came through the Herman Prior Activity Centre doors on Saturday night. She called it a heartwarming experience seeing the community come together.

"It was almost overwhelming. I know when I've talked to a few of our Ukrainian community members, they were just overjoyed with the fact that the community welcomed them with open arms, and they were excited to be there."

She says that one of the main concepts of the day was for families to realize that there are so many organizations in Portage where they will have resources to take advantage of.

"It was great for the Ukrainians to learn about extra things they could get involved with PLLC and other organizations here in the city."

Romphf notes that they prepared 100 food hampers for the Ukrainian families to take home and ran out quickly.

Even though this event had outstanding attendance, she wants it to grow in the future.

"This was kind of the tester year to see how many were interested in the community, and how big of a community we had. We now see there's a need for more events like this," she continues. "It's just it was so good this year, I don't know how we could do it bigger and better, but we will give it a shot."

Romphf gave a huge shout out to everyone who went and supported the event and kept calling to see if there was another way to donate.

"For more information, you can reach out to the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre where they deal with Blair Hordeski and Olexandr Hryniv, and they can put you in touch with somebody who can take donations."