Help From Canada was founded by Michael Garnett & Rebecca Rider in July 2022.
Michael and Rebecca's volunteer involvement began shortly after Russia attacked on February 24th, 2022. They arrived in Europe on March 28th armed with a 9 passenger van and a mission to help Ukrainians in need. For the month of April they shuttled refugees to safety at the busiest crossing from Ukraine into Europe at Medyka, Poland. Their next trip to aid refugees took them into Lviv, Ukraine. This time they brought donated funds directly into Ukraine. They partnered with multiple shelters to provide desperately needed basic essentials to aid refugees remaining in Ukraine.
After their experience volunteering in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, they continued to find the most impactful means of assisting Ukrainian refugees. This led Michael and Rebecca to found Help From Canada, a registered Canadian charity.
Michael is a retired NHL hockey player and MBA graduate. He spent 10 years playing in the Russian KHL during which he learned Russian. His heritage is 3/4 Ukrainian. Michael currently is spearheading the financial wellbeing of Help From Canada and successfully achieved CRA Charity status in just 6 weeks.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Michael felt a monumental blow that the country where he had made is home and career could viciously attack his own people and heritage in Ukraine. He felt disturbed, angry, and disgusted. He immediately took action to help Ukraine in any way he could find.
This passion catapulted him into action on the front lines of the refugee crisis in Europe. Initially shuttling refugees as they flooded across the border into Poland, later entering Ukraine with donated funds to purchase basic essentials desperately needed at humanitarian centres, and now to this point, starting and operating Help From Canada - Ukrainian Refugee Fund.
Rebecca is a pilot for a major Canadian airline. Her experience in the travel industry combined with her drive and determination has fuelled her success with Help From Canada. She has been coordinating the refugee travel from Europe to Canada. Her knowledge of travel is immense having been to over 75 countries.
On February 24th, when Russia invaded Ukraine, Rebecca was heartbroken and distressed seeing the direct impact the invasion had on her husband Michael.
After seeing and experiencing the pain and trauma of refugees as they flooded across the border into Poland, Rebecca has worked endlessly on continuing to find the next right move to continue helping the lives destroyed by the Russian invasion.
Her experience is priceless and her compassion unrivalled.