A Ukrainian congregation located near Lexington, Kentucky, has raised approximately $145,000 at a bake sale to raise funds for those affected by the war in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Pentecostal Church of Nicholasville held the bake sale on Saturday, with the money raised to help those displaced by the Russian invasion of the Eastern European country, where over 10 million people have been forced to flee.
The event featured a lunch for those who attended and a section at the church where around 100 donated baked goods of various kinds were available for sale.
The bake sale’s organizer, Victor Selepina, told The Christian Post that nearly all of the congregation’s members were from Ukraine or had family living there.
Selepina said that he was surprised by the amount raised, saying it “wasn’t planned” but that “we never anticipated to have so many people come out and to raise that amount of money.”
“Our community has been absolutely wonderful,” he said, “and we’ve been very, very, very blessed with a community that we live in, and also the opportunities that this country has given us at one point that we can now organize such events.”
The donations will be distributed through churches in Ukraine with ties to the Nicholasville congregation. The funds will help buy supplies like food in the western part of the country for those displaced by the conflict.
Some of the efforts to purchase food, according to Selepina, will likely move to Ukraine’s western neighbor Poland, as it is considered a more convenient place to get supplies.
Selepina encouraged others to do what they can, even if it’s just a “little bit,” to help improve the situation for those displaced.
“If I have this idea, there is no way I can do this on my own,” he said.
“It takes a lot of people to do it. We [have] anyone from like 13-year-olds to about 90 that just did their part, baking a batch of cookies, and that’s how it came together.”
“It takes a little to make something big happen.”
Across the United States, churches have done their part to help raise funds for Ukrainians fleeing the invasion.
In the Washington, D.C. suburb of Colesville, Maryland, Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral has held bazaars in the last few weeks to raise money for those fleeing violence in Ukraine.
This past Sunday, the bazaar was attended by hundreds. Items for sale included clothes, jewelry, Ukrainian flags and food.
Earlier this month, four churches in Minnesota came together for a charitable event in which 100,000 meals were packed for the needy, with half of them going to Ukraine.
Bethel Lutheran Church of Rochester hosted the meal-packing event, with 250 volunteers packing the meals on behalf of Food for Kidz and the Channel One Regional Food Bank and assistance coming from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, and the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.