Sunflowers for Ukraine
Inspired to find balance and share a sign of peace in the heartbreaking situation in Ukraine, Nicki Piaget turned to clay, polymer clay that is, as working with it has been “very therapeutic” over the years. Nicki made a huge sunflower cane, as the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and also symbolizes peace. She felt led to raise “a little” money for relief efforts for this desperate situation. As she shared the idea at Church, Nicki donated all the materials and her time. Orders poured in and many folks at Cumberland UCC now wear these sunflowers and have shared them with others! Because of this love in action, the Congregational Church in Cumberland, UCC has sent $3200 (much more than they imagined possible) to the UCC fund to provide humanitarian aid for Ukrainians.
The United Church of Christ (UCC.org) has been distributing these funds. One way to look at it would be to say that sunflowers have meant fresh baked bread! For example, the UCC sent….$12,000 to “provide one month of solidarity support to the Reformed Church in Transcarpathia, in Ukraine’s west, through a Global Ministries partner, the Reformed Church in Hungary. The Reformed Church has seen 30 percent of its 65,000 members flee the violence, yet most pastors and church leaders remain, housing 5,500 displaced people in the church’s boarding schools, kindergartens, diaconal and social institutions, parish halls and community centers. The Church’s bakery gives a portion of the 500 loaves of bread baked daily to the refugee work and the rest to area residents. Three times a week, twice the usual amount is baked and then driven to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, along with durable food and hygiene products, to relieve the regions hit by the war. ” https://www.ucc.org/ucc-distributes-more-appeal-donations-to-assist-ukrainians/ (Read this article to find out more.) ” It has helped during these challenging times to remember the power of beauty, creativity, and love in action” said Rev. Allison Smith, “Because sometimes sunflowers (made with love) mean that others facing unimaginable difficulties will have the blessing of fresh baked bread.”