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Fort Smith man raises money and awareness for Ukraine

BMO and Town of Fort Smith will issue flag pins for donations over $20

When Ukraine came under attack, Kenny Hudson, 72, watched in horror from his home in Fort Smith.

“Many Ukrainians were forced out of their homes with only what they could carry in a backpack,” he said. “Their homes are completely destroyed … I thought, there must be something we can do to help.”

Later, on a walk through town, Hudson spotted a sole Ukrainian flag in a window and it inspired an idea.

He went home and ordered 100 pins online – with the Canadian and Ukrainian flags.

He then approached local organizations and friends to donate to the Ukrainian people, giving away a pin for donations over $20.

Many friends jumped behind the cause with some matching the $300 Hudson and his wife pledged.

Fort Smith Mayor Fred Daniels was quick to voice his support, saying, “It’s a good cause and we are proud to support the efforts for Ukraine.”

Donations can be made at the Town of Fort Smith and the Bank of Montreal on Breynat Street – each location has a stockpile of pins.

“If anyone watched the news and sees the devastation, they will know it’s going to cost in the billions to rebuild, every little bit helps, and I hope to North steps up,” Hudson said.

In February, the territorial government announced it will match donations from residents to the Red Cross to support Ukrainians up to $50,000.