Fundraising for Ukraine
A round up of the work FFTF members are doing to raise funds for charities involved in the relief effort in Ukraine, and details of one particular story that has terrible resonance for anyone who has found joy and purpose in growing flowers.
“It’s a flower farm. Not a military object!” – was the caption underneath an image posted last week of a Ukranian flower farm on fire, destroyed by Russian army shelling. The farm in question was Villa Verde, a 9-acre site located just outside Kyiv, run by the family team of Yulia Zavalniuk, her husband Sacha, and her mother and father. They specialise here in ranunculus, peonies and hydrangeas, and grow a number of other crops as well. The production is mainly open field, but there are 4 large greenhouses that have been damaged and cut off from electricity and water. Everything within them has now been exposed to freezing temperatures and is unlikely to be salvageable. Bullets also hit the building housing the farm’s machinery and equipment, causing it to catch fire and burn to the ground. The plan is to re-build the farm, but to do this, Yulia says: “I estimate we will need around 200 to 300 thousand euros.”
The news of the past fortnight coming from Ukraine has been utterly heartbreaking. Lives have been turned upside down overnight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine and we would encourage you to donate what you can to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal Fund and/or the work of Villa Verde.
To show your support and stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian flower-growing peers, you can donate directly to the farm. For more information visit https://www.instagram.com/villaverde.farm/
To donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal, please visit https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal – the DEC is also providing lifesaving aid in Afghanistan at this time.
Members of Flowers from the Farm have independently been leading a number of fundraising initiatives to help with the humanitarian response in Ukraine. Sarah Statham of Simply By Arrangement was very quick to announce the sale of a number of items – prints, workshops and business mentoring sessions – of which the full cost would be donated to her chosen charity, the British Red Cross. These sold out within hours. Claire Sutton of Fig and Fern has also proposed a number of Mother’s Day workshops in March and April with all proceeds going to the British Red Cross. Please contact Claire directly for details.
The Moorland Flower Company, run by Mary Marshall, announced on 27th February that all profits from sales of their seeds going forward would be donated to The Red Cross Ukranian Appeal. Mary hand-packed and stamped a special edition of 200 packets of sunflower seeds (the sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower) to focus donations. She says:
£2055 has gone to the Red Cross Ukraine Relief Appeal in 7 days…Grandparents have been buying for their grandchildren and people have been buying for their friends so our now familiar bright yellow envelopes with the appropriate coloured second class stamps have gone right around mainland UK. We’ve had enquires from USA and New Zealand to see if they can replicate what we’ve done.
On a similar theme, Paris Alma Flowers in West Sussex is offering a collection of flower seeds in the Ukranian national colours, with the £6 purchase price going directly to the Ukranian Appeal.
Wolves Lane Flower Company will be hosting an online flower growing Q&A on Wednesday 16th March. The event will be free, but attendees will be asked to make a donation, with all money going the Disasters Emergency Committee. Details can be found on the WLFC Instagram page.
And finally, returning to the poignancy of the sunflower, Clare and Andrew Greener of Wall Flowers Seasonal Blooms hit upon the idea of the sunflower patch they always grow alongside their flower field as a way to generate funds. Their “Sponsor a Sunflower” appeal raised £1000 in just 24 hours, and Clare is hoping to raise much more now that Shropshire Radio have decided to cover the story.
We hope these examples may inspire some equal acts of generosity and kindness. If you know of other members of FFTF who are fundraising in support of Ukraine, please notify us at email@example.com and we will list details of their appeals below.