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Milestone gift from Temerty Foundation to make Help Us Help self-sustainable

Jun 9, 2021 | Canada, Featured

New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

On May 26, the Canadian charity Help Us Help (HUH) announced a large donation that will help the charity become self-sustainable for years to come. The Temerty Foundation, established by James and Louise Temerty, has donated $10 million to establish the Temerty Endowment Fund, a leadership gift for the Silver Lining Campaign.
Silver Lining Campaign is the largest undertaking in the HUH history to grow its endowment fund. The investment revenues from the Temerty Endowment will provide funds for administering HUH’s work in Ukraine, including humanitarian aid, anti-human trafficking initiatives, educational projects, mental health supports and life-skills development workshops delivered to children and veterans.

Thanks to the investment revenues from the Endowment Fund, HUH will be able to expand the array of services it offers in Ukraine. “We try to grow with the needs of society in Ukraine and constantly change our programming,” explained Krystina Waler, HUH’s Interim Executive Director.

One of the examples of the changing programming is the HUH-sponsored mental health support project. HUH has started a program for its scholars, who are residents of institutions or orphanages in Ukraine, to address the sense of isolation that many of them are feeling right now and that triggers in their minds the isolation they have experienced in the institutions. The scholars now have access to mental health support with group and one-on-one therapy sessions with Ukrainian psychologists.

In another example, HUH partnered with Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Canada Ukraine Foundation, Mykola Kuleba, the Ombudsman of Children with the President of Ukraine and Meest Corporation, with KONTAKT Ukrainian TV Network as the media sponsor, to help deinstitutionalize residents of orphanages who were sent home during the pandemic. Out of over 100,000 residents of Ukrainian orphanages, about 50,000 have families. The project aimed to reunite the children with their relatives in the Zhytomyr oblast, a pilot region for De-Institutionalization reforms, by providing material support and monitoring by social workers.

In the oblast, 1,916 children from the institutions returned home to their families to quarantine due to COVID-19, while 873 of those children were considered to be in difficult circumstances and did not have enough food and proper hygiene supplies in their households. Help Us Help and Canada Ukraine Foundation, with the support of Ukrainian Canadian Congress, raised money for the purchase of food and hygiene kits for those families, while MEEST Corporation procured the contents of the kits with the help of local Ukrainian suppliers, assembled the kits and distributed the packages.

From June 2020 until February 2021, ten deliveries with 500 food kits and 500 hygiene kits weighing a total of 21,500 kilograms were completed to the Zhytomyr Regional State Administration. As a result, 265 families with 703 children (including 135 with disabilities) received assistance, while 147 children from 85 families remained with their families and out of institutional care at the start of the 2020/2021 school year.

The HUH programming is getting support from the prominent Ukrainian Canadian duo Mark and Marichka Marczyk from Balaklava Blues. The duo’s most recent music video “Green” features images of activities from the newly named Ruslana’s Summer Camp (after Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj, HUH Founder and Honorary Chair) and stars Vova and his younger friend Andriy, an orphan who has benefited from HUH programming and is a Temerty Scholarship Fund recipient.

After the $10 million leadership gift from the Temerty Foundation, HUH is continuing the campaign to grow its Endowment Fund. HUH plans to increase both the number of participants and the capacity to provide help in Ukraine.

Krystina Waler: “We are extremely grateful to the Temerty Foundation for their belief in us. We hope that others will join them. The Temerty Endowment will cover some of our current programming plans but we do still have a need to fundraise within the community for our growing programming. We still need the volunteers and we are open to new, fresh perspectives”.

“This gift is an exciting milestone for Help Us Help and is the start of a new era”, said Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj, HUH Founder and Honorary Chair. “It will afford the organization the opportunity to have an even further reach and help more vulnerable people”.

In her interview for KONTAKT Ukrainian TV Network, aired on May 28, she said that the project, which initially was planned to work for three years, is now almost 30 and has served three generations of Ukrainian children. HUH started as a humanitarian aid initiative and has now developed an array of projects from scholarships to projects for veterans and widows from the war in the Donbas. Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj said that it is a dream come true that HUH has developed a network of volunteers on the ground in Ukraine who are now assisting the charity.

“Help Us Help has always been a very personal commitment for us,” said Leah Temerty-Lord, Temerty Foundation Managing Director, in her comment for NP-UN. “Our family has supported HUH from the beginning, and seeing how it has enriched and changed the lives of so many at-risk children is why we want to see it continue on for many years. The first time I visited the camp, I was in my early 20s, and I will always remember how incredibly moved I was by the campers and their stories. There was such a strong feeling of family within the camp. It was pure joy to be there. To later meet some of the students, and hear about their lives and families, confirmed the importance of the scholarship program. Our youth are our future, and it is our job to help them succeed and be the leaders that we need”.

In their interview for KONTAKT Ukrainian TV Network, Louise and James Temerty told the story of how they got involved with HUH and shared their vision for the charity.

Louise Temerty recalled the plight of Ukrainian orphans, which Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj told her about, when the orphans become pray for the underworld once they leave institutions with nothing: “I was so shocked, that’s when we decided to do the scholarships. So right now we have many students who have finished university and are equipped to live a full Ukrainian life”.

James Temerty praised Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj for all the energy she has put into HUH for almost three decades and spoke about the need to make the charity sustainable for the long run. He noted that the Endowment Fund needs $20 million to create enough annual income for HUH to hire a professional staff and administer the programs for many years to come.

About Help Us Help (HUH)

Founded in 1993, Help Us Help is a federally registered Canadian charitable organization, focused on humanitarian aid and educational projects in Ukraine and Canada. The organization has delivered more than $25 million in charitable aid to thousands of children and veterans directly and in cooperation with local organizations. Thanks to the support of the community, donors, and hundreds of volunteers, HUH has empowered tens of thousands of children and veterans in Ukraine through its educational and self-improvement programs and direct humanitarian aid.

Help Us Help has three marquee programs that are supplemented on an “as-needed” basis by other initiatives. These marquee programs include: summer and winter camps that provide children living in residential institutions with the opportunity to learn valuable life skills not taught in institutions; a scholarship program that provides financial and moral support to young adults who graduate from residential institutions and seek post-secondary education; and the veteran program that provides reorientation, adaptation, and reintegration programs as well as psychological support and legal services for Ukrainian conflict-affected veterans and their families.

About Temerty Foundation

Founded in 1997 by James and Louise Temerty, the Temerty Foundation has provided significant philanthropic support to health care, education and culture in Canada and beyond.

In September 2020, the Temerty Foundation made the historic $250-million gift to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, which is now the Temerty Faculty of Medicine (TFoM). This is the single largest philanthropic gift in Canadian history and among the largest gifts made internationally to a faculty of medicine.

The gift supports advances in machine learning in medicine; biomedical research and collaboration across Toronto’s health-science network; innovation, commercialization and entrepreneurship; equity and accessibility in medical education. Thanks to the gift, TFoM already has several projects underway, having purchased the Cryo-EM microscope, launched the Temerty Centre for AI Research and Education, awarded scholarships and bursaries and launched the Ukraine-Toronto Education & Collaboration Initiative, which will support visiting fellows, professors, scholars and students from Ukraine and encourage increased collaboration with academics and researchers from the Faculty. Within the Covid Relief Fund, TFoM has funded expanded labs, research support, short-term housing for front-line workers, training for front-line clinicians and financial aid for MD students. A portion of the donation is aimed to finance the creation of a new state-of-the-art TFoM building prominently situated at the corner of King’s College Road and King’s College Circle in Toronto’s downtown.

Staying true to his roots, Mr. Temerty and his family have been long-standing supporters of the Ukrainian community, diaspora and causes important to Ukraine. The Temerty family established the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at Harvard; sponsored Ukraine in European Dialogue at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna; the Kyiv Mohyla Business School; the Help Us Help charity; the Ukrainian Leadership Academy; Atlantic Council’s Ukraine in Europe Initiative; and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium. Mr. Temerty is the founder and main sponsor of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, an organization that strives to deepen cross-cultural and interfaith relations between Ukrainians and Jews. He is also one of the biggest benefactors of Lviv’s Ukrainian Catholic University.

Mr. Temerty has sponsored such organizations and projects in Canada and Ukraine as Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund; a gift edition of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar translated into English by Peter Fedynsky; an English-language atlas of geology and mineral resources of Ukraine; the Kobzar Park rejuvenation project in Timmins, ON; the Mysteries of Ancient Ukraine: the Remarkable Trypilian Culture (5400 – 2700 BC) and the Legacy in Gold: Scythian Treasures from Ancient Ukraine exhibitions in the Royal Ontario Museum.

James C. Temerty, C.M., was the founding chairman of Northland Power Inc. Northland Power is an independent power producing company with a focus on clean and green energy. An entrepreneur with over 40 years of business experience, Temerty was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2008 and was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 for Canada.

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