Many of the locally owned shops and restaurants in our community have been moved to raise funds to help Ukrainian refugees.  Our store is no exception – we have carried supplies for making Ukrainian eggs for decades, so we feel a special kinship with the culture and people of Ukraine.

Deciding to get involved in a humanitarian or political cause is a very personal decision, and many businesses have a policy never to do this. But one of the privileges of owning a small business is choosing to take a stand if you want.  We know that our fundraising won’t make a huge difference – however as American author Edward Everett Hall said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

Raising money for refugees and medical aid also helps us feel less helpless in the face of a crisis such as Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, and we know that our customers appreciate having a way to be part of this effort.  At our shop we immediately pledged that all income from the sale of Ukrainian egg decorating supplies this year will go to the International Refugee Committee.  

In addition, we suggested to one of our small makers, J & J Woodshop in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, that they add the word Ukraine to their sunflower magnets. We plan to use them in our First Friday event on April 1 to reward those who write a donation check. We’ll also be contributing 20% of our sales that evening to the cause.

Not only did J & J Woodshop give us 20 magnets for free to use to raise funds, but owner David reports that he added a donation box in his showroom so that he can share a magnet for any donation given.  We have noted that several of our vendors are offering sunflower items to honor the Ukrainian national flower – but not all are promising that the income they receive will go to humanitarian causes.   Whether you choose to support the needs of Ukrainian refugees or not, the one thing that you don’t want to do is profit from the crisis.  

It is always inspiring to see the creativity that small businesses use to find ways to raise funds to help those in need. If you choose to support Ukrainian relief efforts, I wish you Бажаю успіхів (much success).

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder