It’s medical supplies – field dressings, bandages and tourniquets – that Dan Matwichyna’s family in Ukraine have asked to be sent, and selling blue and yellow t-shirts with peace signs with his sisters , the Tsawwassen resident did just that.
For $30 you can also help support them.
“The men can’t leave, and so the women on my dad’s side, they sent their kids away and decided to stay and fight… The women act, basically, as support for the civilian army , and what they wanted was, believe it or not, field dressings and bandages – stuff like that… Things that when people get hurt they can use to keep them for quite a long time to enable them to get real help,” says Matwichyna.
With the help of other family members across Canada and the generosity of those who purchase their t-shirts, they have already sent three packages of medical supplies directly to Poland, which are then picked up by couriers for onward to Ukraine.
“We get emails from our family, holding the package, saying ‘we got it,'” he says.
The idea for the t-shirt was born out of Matwichyna and his sister’s desire to buy flags to support the country, but when they couldn’t find any because they were all sold out, his sister started to make their own flags.
Then they started selling them to raise money to send supplies to their family, but have since moved on to printing and selling t-shirts.
“We charge $30 per t-shirt to cover it, and people give way more than that, which is good. On the first day, I took them to the [Rose and Crown] Pub, I think we sold 40 in the first hour and a half. So the community is definitely behind it. I think people want to help, but they just don’t know how, and this is one way to do it,” says Matwichyna.
If you want to buy any of the Matwichyna t-shirts, while stocks last, they are available at the Rose and Crown Pub in Tsawwassen and Harris Nursery in Ladner. You can also email Dan Matwichyna at [email protected]