OP Unifier Troops keep kids feet warm with Operation Warm Feet

Above image: see information below. 

Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on Operation Unifier raised funds to purchase boots for children in an orphanage. Since 2015, participated in humanitarian projects to help community members, and Operation Unifier Roto 10 was no exception.

Along with having the primary task of providing military training, mentoring, and capacity building for the Security Forces of Ukraine, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members deployed on Operation Unifier have also been committed to reaching out to Ukrainian communities through humanitarian projects.

Giving Back

The military personnel have been giving back to the community since their arrival in 2015, notes Captain Maxime Cliché, public affairs officer, Joint Task Force – Ukraine (Operation UNIFIER). He says it is with great pride that they do so.

“Our members have been assisting multiple non-profit organizations. By voluntary contribution and fundraising events, Op UNIFIER members have been raising money to help disadvantaged children,” he explained.

Operation UNIFIER Roto 10 Task Force Padre Captain Krusinksy and charity initiative member Master Corporal Maclean deliver boots to children at Ridnyi Dim Orphanage in Sasiv as part of Operation WARM FEET, 28 November 2020. The initiative raised 16,493UAH ($750CAD) exceeding the goal of 15,486 UAH ($704) donating 21 pairs of winter boots for children in need. Photo by: Avr Melissa Gloude, Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Technician.

One of their most recent donations was to the children at Ridnyi Dim Orphanage in Sasiv.

At the end of November, Operation Unifier Roto 10 member Padre Captain Krusinksy and charity initiative member Master Corporal Maclean delivered boots to children at Ridnyi Dim Orphanage in Sasiv for Operation WARM FEET.

Captain Krusinsky, Op Unifier Padre, spoke in detail.

“Even if our primary task is to provide military training and capacity building to the Security Forces of Ukraine, our members always want to give back to the Ukrainian Community via diverse non-profit organizations and charities.

“One of our contributions is to buy Winter Boots for young disadvantaged children, via what we like to call “Operation Warm Feet.” Ukrainians have been nothing but welcoming to us, and it is with great pleasure that we give back to the community,” says Captain Krusinsky.

Kicking Off Initiative

The Padre, Captain Krusinsky, with the help of the Operation Unifier Command Team, usually kick off the initiative.

Members deployed on Operation Unifier are always eager to give back, and since they have different training groups all across Ukraine, different people in each group start initiatives.

Cliché gave an example, “In mid-November, we gave 14 pairs of winter boots to disadvantaged children of Preschool Lightning Bug #17 in Kaminets-Podilskyi, where we have a training group deployed. So wherever our groups are in Ukraine, they give back to the local community in a way or another.”

The initiative raised $750, exceeding the goal of $704, donating 21 pairs of winter boots for children in need.

This “operation” has been passed down from Rotation to Rotation. Cliché says their footprint in the different communities of Ukraine started on their arrival five years ago in 2015.

Canadian values

As ambassador of Canadian values, Cliché says CAF personnel like to get involved with non-profitable organizations and charities that reflect what Canada stands for.

He explained that this is part of Canada’s broader government support to Ukraine, which includes financial, development, security, and humanitarian assistance.

Since 2015 over $27 million in humanitarian assistance funding has been given for the provision of protection, essential relief items, health care, food assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene to respond to the needs of people affected by the violence in eastern Ukraine.

In addition, the CAF is involved with different organizations like the Walnut House, which is a women’s center for those who suffer from domestic violence, along with various veterans organizations.


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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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