When volunteer organizer Kasia Tota saw the size of the crowd for a fundraiser held in downtown Halifax Saturday she was overwhelmed.

“We are just so happy that Halifax stands with Ukraine,” said Tota.

People stood in large numbers. Hundreds arrived to buy food, clothing, and handmade crafts for the Halifax Stand with Ukraine festival and fundraiser.

“We never thought it was going to be so huge with so much support,” said Stanislav Serebriakov who came to Canada from Ukraine in 2014. “All the money will go to the Ukrainian foundation called Come Back Alive. They take care of all the Ukrainian volunteers who stayed in Ukraine and defend the country.”

The maritime community continues to contribute in a variety of ways.

Paulette Levin and Krista Billard helped organize a Cape Breton quilting campaign.

“The ladies who are in the quilt shop and beyond have bought the quilt kits, and made the quilts on their own,” said Billard.

Thirteen quilts were made to be given to families.

“They should surround somebody with so much love and support from Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton specifically,” said Levin. “Just to make them feel like they have a little something to bring them comfort and feel safe.”

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the huge turnout for this fundraiser is another example of people in this region opening their hearts, their wallets, and in some cases their homes to help Ukrainians.

“The city’s next meeting council is voting on a donation,” said Savage. “It will be symbolic, but I think it’s important.”

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Mayor Savage says Halifax has a proud reputation of previously welcoming Syrian and Afghan refugees, and added the work being done to support Ukraine adds another layer to that tradition.

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