Sunflowers — the national flower of Ukraine and a symbol of resistance against Russia — decorate Patty Carrier’s donation jars.
It’s easy to feel helpless when hearing about a tragedy in another country. Some disasters, like the war in Ukraine, are far too large and distant for anyone here to solve. But while we may not be able to solve those problems ourselves, a small group of Harpswellians are trying to show that every little bit counts, even if all you have is spare change.
“There are so many places you go, small businesses, that have all these little jars on their counter and they’re collecting for sports, or the humane society, or many other worthy causes,” said Patty Carrier. “It occurred to me that the people that I live around here in Maine are wonderful and giving and kind, and everyone wants to do something to help Ukraine, so I’m just trying to help in my own little way.”
Carrier, with her husband, Paul, and friends Jan Raslavsky and Catharine Sanderson, is creating handmade jars to collect donations for Ukraine from the counters of local businesses. The group painted Mason jars yellow and blue to match the Ukrainian flag and attached a sunflower — Ukraine’s national flower and a symbol of resistance against Russia — to each one. They got labels for the jars from Staples, which donated printing services.
After just one week, the jars had collected more than $1,200 to benefit World Central Kitchen.
Carrier read about World Central Kitchen’s work to feed both people in Ukraine and the millions of refugees fleeing the country. “Hundreds of volunteers from all over Europe and the United States are helping both in Ukraine and in Poland, which is the landing place for so many trying to escape,” she said.
She was effusive in her gratitude toward the community, both those who have donated and those who made the project happen.
At press time, Carrier’s jars are at Iris Eats, The School House 1913, Uncle Pete’s Community Market and The Vegetable Corner in Harpswell, along with 14 locations in Brunswick. Businesses may call Carrier at 207-751-6311 to request a jar.