The Mad River Valley may seem to be a world away from Ukraine, yet the support for the millions of Ukrainians who are enduring a war with Russia, is very real and happening here.
Vee’s Flowers, Waitsfield, is offering space in her shop to host an Artists for Ukraine Relief pop-up-shop fundraiser beginning Tuesday, April 19, through Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers are asking artists and crafters to donate arts and crafts items to be sold during this week. Those who have a service that could be donated, such as a massage, landscaping, a yoga class, etc. are encouraged to donate as well.
One hundred percent of funds raised will be going to help the people of Ukraine through Amurtel and a personal friend/Ukrainian connection through one of the organizers.
Amurtel provides immediate and long-term relief to women and children in need in a manner that improves their overall quality of life. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Amurtel has established at least 10 child-friendly spaces along the Romanian border for Ukrainian refugee children. These spaces offer children an environment where they can process their trauma, feel cared for and safe, and build resiliency through therapeutic storytelling, toys, art, music, sports and other things that make children feel welcome and connected with others.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Fomichov, who is the founder of the League of Tolerance, a Ukrainian NGO that uses sports to promote human rights, inclusion and tolerance, has been running an emergency support service focused on immediate support for all Ukrainians. Through donations, his team of volunteers has assisted in the evacuation and resettling of over 150 Ukrainian families (more than 400 people) and has provided funds to his fellow in-country Ukrainians for food, water, medical and baby supplies in the Kharkiv Oblast; transportation and physical support during border crossings and to enter special trains from Lviv to Przemysl in Poland as well as in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. Every dime that is donated goes directly to help the people most devastated by this war. Fomichov and his family evacuated from Donesk in 2014 and now from Ivanko-Frankivsk to Poland. He knows what his fellow countrymen need and is supporting through direct connections.
To contribute crafts, artwork, a service or make a cash contribution, drop donations off to Vee’s Flowers before or on Monday, April 18, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. People are asked to price their work at drop off. Organizers are only able to take cash, checks or Venmo for payment.