Irene Watson-Culver wanted to do something – anything – to help the people of Ukraine.
Her idea is proof every little thing counts and can mean a great deal for such an important fundraising cause. Chemainus United Church member Watson-Culver made a few broaches in Ukrainian colours with a small sunflower or a yellow daisy on a blue background to raise money and the idea has really taken off.
Nearly $1,200 had been raised as of Tuesday and Watson-Culver expected the total would close in on $2,000 before too long now that the word is out. The donation total has added up quickly, including $100 from one person.
“I just started to think ‘what can I do,’” she said as the reason behind the fundraiser. “I was feeling there was nothing I could do, but I love creating things and it’s been amazing. Everybody started telling their friends about them.”
It also helped emotionally for people who are sickened by what’s happening with Russia bombarding Ukraine.
“I could have cried,” said Watson-Culver. “I can’t watch the news anymore. It’s just so awful.”
A work bee was held Tuesday with church members and volunteers making a variety of flowers to keep up with demand for the cause.
They’re available to anyone who’d like to purchase one at the church on Wednesday or Thursday mornings when the office is open as well as during Sunday services, with all proceeds going to assist the people of Ukraine.
Since it’s all being done through the church, there’s no administration cost and people can simply make a donation for a flower. The proceeds are being directed to Ukraine by the United Church of Canada.
Joyce Cloakey, who sells goods at the Public Market in Chemainus, will have them available at the market Saturday as well. She’ll be joined by Alice Thomas of Nanaimo, who used to have a restaurant in Chemainus and is of Ukrainian descent with family in that region.
“It’s been real gratifying how people have stepped up,” said Watson-Culver.