I was born in Kharkiv. I grew up in Odessa.
You've heard the names of these Ukrainian cities in the news. They and many others are being bombed, attacked by drones, their electricity taken out, hospitals shelled, their civilians terrorized. This is happening right now.
Many of us leave our home to make a life elsewhere. I've made a life for myself in another country.
I've lived in America for 35 years, yet my heart still aches when I hear of the pain my hometown is going through.
During the Civil War, one man, a simple shopkeeper, decided to do something for the soldiers fighting to keep the country together.
In Chapters From My Autobiography, Mark Twain tells of a onetime classmate, Reuel Colt Gridley, who in 1864 took a 50 lb. sack of flour and carried it around town. It was then auctioned off to the highest bidder, who paid for the sack but returned it to the auction, to be sold again.
The process repeated itself many times, in many different towns, to which Gridley carried that same sack of flour, raising $4.75 million in today's money for the cause.
in your neck of the woods, carrying a 50 lb. sack of sunflower seeds to raise awareness of Ukraine's plight while raising money for its fight.
The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, symbolizing the energy of the sun and the life that hope and care can generate.
As you pass me on the road, I hope you'll care enough to contribute.
One-hundred cents of every dollar we raise goes to a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which will direct all of the funds toward the purchase of badly needed communications equipment and medical supplies for units of the Ukrainian Army and Territorial Defense Forces.
Learn about my and my friends' previous successful efforts to raise money for Ukraine's fight for freedom here.