Okanagan volunteers baked up a storm in preparation for a Ukrainian Easter bake sale on Sunday.
Local vendors offered what they could to raise money including a photo booth, traditional Ukrainian food as well as art.
“We made it with love and passion. We’ve been baking pretty much every evening and there is over 20 of us and within the first hour we sold the first batch,” said Ukrainian Canadian Volunteer Association member Svitlana Shkyn.
“We were so happy that we were able to sell traditional Ukrainian food for Easter. We had kovbasa, perogies, cabbage rolls and we also had traditional Ukrainian Easter bread which is sweet bread with raisins and icing.”
The goal of the bake sale was to raise enough money for the purchase of an ambulance for hot spot areas.
“Even before war, I know many villages, many cities just didn’t have enough ambulance vehicles. Especially right now it is in high demand,” said Shkyn.
“We are hoping this purchase can actually save more lives of injured civilians and injured soldiers.”
A lemonade stand run by Sofia Kozachenko’s family raised nearly $300. Her daughters plan to contribute the funds towards a goal of their own.
“There is a portion of the funds that are being governed by our girls at the lemonade stand that are going to support a little centre of children with disabilities in Chernihiv. They are quite passionate about it,” said bake sale volunteer Sofia Kozachenko.
It was an emotional day for Kozachenko and her family as her in-laws fled Ukraine 10 days ago and are now staying with them in Kelowna.
“I can’t speak, I miss my land and my mother is still in Ukraine,” said Ukrainian refugee Luliia Makariuk through tears.
Kozachenko said her in-laws only had mere moments to decide to leave their community.
“As soon as the first bomb exploded nearby, they just took less than an hour to decide and just hopped on a train. They had nothing on them except paperwork and a piece of deli meat. They couldn’t even eat on the train because it was so crammed,” said Kozachenko.
As of Sunday afternoon, $8625 was raised through the bake sale.
The Ukrainian Canadian Volunteer Association said their next goal is to raise money for displaced Ukrainians as they begin to arrive in the Okanagan.