As war was brought forth from Russia onto Ukraine, the world sat in silence as innocent victims from both sides were thrust into a dark place. Young soldiers from Russia, who were under the assumption they were going to aid in the help for Ukraine, only to then find they were attacking them instead. Families from Ukraine torn apart, mothers and children were fleeing the Country as husbands and fathers stayed back to fight.
Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil and their National flower is also the Sunflower. As we continued to watch the news and began to understand the severity of the situation, we wanted to help! We had a local follower of our event reach out and ask if we were doing anything to help raise awareness of the situation, realizing that it was the simple sunflower that bound us both, it just seemed right. We decided that we could help raise awareness by offering free seed packets to be planted this spring to locals around the area. There were 100 packets that we had placed labels on stating, “Sunflowers for Solidarity, A planting for Ukraine.” Seeds were delivered to local storefronts and town halls around Botetourt County. MUCH to our surprise the next day ALL seeds had been picked up by visitors and customers. We decided to add 150 more packets to the public for free. As with the first batch, all packets were picked up with in a few short days. Back to the drawing board we went. “What if we offered some proceeds from the sale of the seed packets to Ukraine?” That way we could be sending a direct monetary donation to them. “YES!” We decided to move forward with this plan and to send donations to World Center Kitchen (https://wck.org) which is a group that is feeding the refugees fleeing Ukraine.
In the meantime, we had been contacted by several local news stations to run the story of our free packets and donations. Our story caught the attention of the NBC Nightly News in NY and they reached out to include us in a segment they were running for Ukraine. This story ran on March 5th during the 6:30pm edition. Since then we have sold over 650 seed packets and reached over 24 states. When spring rolls around we are excited to know that families all around the USA will be planting our seeds to show honor and respect for a nation many miles away.
God Bless Ukraine.