Salmon Arm  

Blind Bay man and volunteers are ready, willing and able to help Ukrainian refugees

Ready, willing and able

Jean-Luc Desgroseilliers is ready, willing and able to help any Ukrainian refugee in need.

The Blind Bay man has lined up host families and remains in ongoing contact with government and aid agencies to ensure everything needed is in place.

He has also launched a GoFundMe to help cover expenses.

All he needs now are refugees.

Desgroseilliers, who also runs the Shuswap Dojo karate school, said to date, no refugees have come to the Blind Bay area.

“We are trying to help,” he said Friday. “I have two host families that are prepared to provide free accommodations. They have gone through a criminal record check.”

The host families have also gone through an accommodation profile with the United Way with information on the accommodations that are being offered.

“My understanding is, when Ukrainians come over here they decide where they want to go based on what's available and most of them probably want to go to bigger cities like Vancouver,” he said. “But I don't think there are too many places there where people are offering free accommodations.”

Desgroseilliers said refugees may be put off by the small size of Blind Bay and have no idea what the area is like.

However, when a match is made, Desgroseilliers said officials visit the home to make sure it is acceptable.

Desgroseilliers will also offer free karate lessons to any refugees in the area who want to train in martial art.

If someone does need assistance, they can call him at 250-833-2911.

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