It’s a connection you might not make, from Alberta to the Okanagan to Ukraine.
A Medicine Hat businessman has donated $6,000 to The Bravery Foundation in Kelowna to help a coalition of international professional soldiers embedded with the Ukrainian military. The money will be used to purchase a truck so the soldiers can further their efforts in rescuing civilians from the front lines of the war with Russia.
“I saw a news article with a picture of some Canadian soldiers with some Ukrainian kids,” said Dean Shock, owner of Shockware Wireless. “I saw they wanted to raise money for a truck. This was perfect as I wanted to get money to an organization that was helping directly.”
The donation from Shock, along with an additional $1,200 from other donations, was a welcome surprise for The Bravery Foundation founder Bonnie Penner.
“Pretty impressive this guy,” said Penner. “It was a match made in heaven I guess.”
The original fundraising goal was $5,000, but that all changed after Penner connected with Shock.
“He said ‘well let’s bump it up to $6,000,” she said.
Penner’s son is also part of the coalition and in a recent phone call said he was ecstatic to learn about the donation. Both Penner and Shock vetted each other before the donation was made.
“After understanding that this wasn’t just an organization but formed by a mother of the son who was volunteering his services, I just realized this was a very correct decision,” said Shock. “I have worked with other large organizations and have seen how monies get used in the wrong places. This organization was about helping directly with what is happening now, working with those who are directing resources directly to the cause.”
Shock added he was considering going to Ukraine himself, but his children didn’t want him to go.
“I have found it overwhelming as I have been to Ukraine a number of times and they are no different than us, living in a peaceful nation.”