It’s been over a month now since Russia invaded Ukraine. Like many of you, we’ve been following the war closely, and our hearts are sad and angry. I don’t know where you’re at with this whole thing; there are certainly different opinions as to why Putin would attack in the first place, and the most impactful way the world should respond. Unlike the last completely fragmenting social issue of our times, i.e. COVID, I feel that this may be different. From our perspective, there seems to be much more wholehearted consensus on one thing: what the Ukrainian people are experiencing right now is nothing less than absolutely horrific… and we have *some* ability to help those who are hurting most.
Which is what I want to do with my catering.
Ukraine holds a special place in my heart. I traveled to Eastern Ukraine in 2004 with my choir to sing in many of the beautiful cathedrals and churches that are now, no doubt, sitting in rubble. We met and stayed with some of the most generous and kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. Our cultural awareness was minimal, as was our language skills but they were quite forgiving; we learned a whole lot of body language skills to communicate with one another, and there was so much laughter! I remember thinking, “These hills look like the rolling fields of Manitoba and these cities are our cities, but the women dress better!” The ancient churches and cathedrals we sang in took my breath away. All this to say, when I see photos of areas that used to be cultural monuments or see people ripped away from their homes and families, it feels more real, more heart-wrenching.
Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for more global protests using his personal channel: “The world must stop the war. I thank everyone who acts in support of Ukraine, in support of freedom, but the war continues. The acts of terror against peaceful people go on. One month already! That long.”
The other day I received a private message on my social media account from a catering company providing humanitarian work every day in Ukraine. Actually, it’s a small collection of catering companies and restauranteurs who decided to stay in Kyiv in the midst of all this chaos and turmoil and daily provide over 1350 meals to serve local military, police and civilians. They reached out to caterers all around the world with hopes that fellow global food industry folk such as myself would be willing to provide financial support for their ongoing work. Steve did the research to confirm it was a legitimate organization and we sent a small donation to help.
And then we got thinking…
What if we did a virtual cooking class fundraiser featuring a full Ukrainian menu in which all funds raised went to support this initiative in Ukraine? It feels like an amazing “fit” that as a catering company we can help a fellow catering company in the midst of a dire situation provide such practical and needed help. So that’s what we’re going to do and I want YOU to join!
Here’s how this will work: as long as you donate at least $40 to the PayPal account set up for receiving donations (we’ll post the email address when we post the class details), and send an email receipt my way, you’ll be registered for the class! (Feel free to remove the actual amount and any personal information when forwarding the email). As with my other virtual classes, you’ll receive full recipes and a prep sheet outlining the things you can prepare in advance as well as equipment needed. Friends, this is going to be SO. FUN.
So I have posted the class, and you can learn how to sign up, the menu details and more so check it out!