CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As the Russian invasion of Ukraine rolls on, more and more refugees are needing help. Here in the Coastal Bend, we have small businesses sacrificing profits to do what they said is the right thing.
“In the words of my friend Shelly, 'There’s lots to do and there’s lots to recover, but first fleeing folk need to eat.'” Tammy Conolly said.
Conolly owns the Bashful Armadillo, a yarn dyeing online company. Her and her friends came up with making “We Are Sunflowers” yarn, dyed with the colors of Ukraine.
“In our case, it gives them an easy case to give, but they’re getting something in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, that they can make something out of. That, they can wear and actually show their support,” she said.
For every skein sold, she donates $15 to World Central Kitchen.
"I know that they have chefs on the ground feeding people, as they come over the border, and feeding them in shelters across the area where people are fleeing to," said Conolly. "They're getting good hot meals that are prepared by chefs. It's not rice and beans, you know, it's good stuff."
Conolly only began selling these on Tuesday.
"I put online yesterday around 3 o'clock," she said. "Started getting sales immediately. By 8 o'clock, we were sold out. So yeah, raised about $300 yesterday."
Another Corpus Christi small business helping out is McNabb Microfarm. They grow baby vegetables and through the month of March, they’ll donate all profits from the sale of their sunflowers.
They’ve chosen to donate to Care, a global non-profit that also feeds refugees.
“We just want to help them out any little way that they can," Ryan McNabb said, CEO of McNabb Microfarm. "I know it’s not a whole lot, but we want to do whatever we can to help them.”
Being small businesses, donations could hinder their business growth, but that hasn't been a concern.
“It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s also worth it," McNabb said. "Of course it’s taking a little bit of our profits that we could use to help build up the business, but that’s not really the point. It’s to help those that are much less (fortunate) than us.”
So far, McNabb has raised $100. The goal is to raise $500 in March, but even if they don't get there, he hopes it at least brings attention and more support for Ukraine.
Sunflowers have become a symbol of peace for Ukraine. According to Reuters, Russia and Ukraine combine to produce 80 percent of the world’s sunflower oil.
Conolly said she will dye more "We Are Sunflowers" next week. So, they could be available online at the end of this week.
You can find McNabb Microfarm at the weekly Grow Local Farmers' Market, located at the Art Center, on Wednesdays. Or you can purchase microgreens on their website.
Keep up-to-date with them on Facebook.
Both charities have been verified on the IRS website.