(StatePoint) When news of the invasion of Ukraine broke in February, many Americans wondered how they could help relief efforts. Across the country, individuals and communities sprang into action.
Knowing immediately she needed to get involved, Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, owner of Door County Candle Company and granddaughter of Ukrainian immigrants, began donating 100% of profits from her company’s Ukraine candles to relief efforts. She expected to sell only a few hundred candles, but within two weeks the company sold over 20,000 – more candles than it typically sells in a year. To date, the company has sold over 70,000 Ukraine candles totaling $700,000 in donations and counting.
To assist with the overwhelming response, neighbors and other volunteers have been pitching in to prepare the candles. But, Door County Candle Company isn’t stopping there. The company has set a “Light to Unite” donation goal of $1 million by Ukraine’s Independence Day on Aug. 24, 2022, and is extending its donation contributions to include $5 from every online sale of its 16-ounce traditional yellow Lemongrass and blue Lakeshore candles -- the official colors of Ukraine, in addition to continuing to donate 100% of profits from the Ukraine candle. To order a candle and support relief efforts in Ukraine, visit doorcountycandle.com.
Gorchynsky Trapani is also offering five additional ideas for getting involved:
1. Donate: Donate to organizations directly benefitting Ukrainians. One to consider is Razom for Ukraine, which is providing medical and communication supplies to the regions that need it most, evacuating vulnerable populations to safer regions of the country, and advocating internationally for the nation’s future. Proceeds from Door County Candle Company’s Ukraine candle and Lakeshore and Lemongrass candles go to Razom. To learn more, visit razomforukraine.org. Donations can also be made to Sunflower of Peace, which is distributing first-aid backpacks, medicine, medical instruments and other means of survival in the areas affected by violence. Visit sunflowerofpeace.com to learn more about their efforts.
2. Take action: Voice your support for Ukraine by contacting your congressional representatives and by taking part in peaceful demonstrations and rallies.
3. Tweet and share: Sign petitions demanding peaceful solutions in the region and share them on social. Visit codepink.org and globalcitizen.org to learn more and to show your support.
4. Reserve an Airbnb in Ukraine: The idea is not to vacation in the country, but to deliver needed cash to citizens during wartime. Many hosts have lost their income, and at the same time, are allowing other Ukrainian refugees to stay in their properties for free. As of March 4, 61,000 nights were booked by users worldwide for a total of $2 million. If you’re an Airbnb host yourself, you can also consider signing up to offer free temporary stays to refugees. Visit airbnb.org/help-ukraine to learn more.
5. Celebrate Ukrainian culture: Ukrainian Independence Day will have an even deeper significance this year. The event is typically celebrated with festivals across the United States presenting traditional dress, dances and popular cuisine. This year, it will be an opportunity to demonstrate love and support, connect with Ukrainian neighbors and refugees, and learn about the country. You can also fly the Ukrainian flag to demonstrate your support, as well as learn more about its meaning: the top blue band symbolizes the sky and the bottom yellow band symbolizes wheat fields.
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