Moved by the devastating images of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Newton resident Rebecca Ferguson put her baking hobby to work.
Ferguson is encouraging donations to Save the Children, a global humanitarian organization, in exchange for her homemade yellow and blue macaroons. The response has been overwhelming, she said.
“My fundraising goal was originally $600, but I think [the total is] going to be closer to $1,000,” Ferguson said.
After looking at various social media posts, Ferguson found the Save the Children’s Ukraine Fund, which began its work in Ukraine in 2014 in response to Russian aggression in the eastern part of the country. The funds from Ferguson’s baked goods go toward serving child refugees in Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the fund continues to emphasize the disproportionate impact war has on children. An emergency alert on the website says that 50 percent of Ukrainian refugees are children.
Ferguson said that she saw some donation efforts in local Facebook groups but felt that she still had more to offer by making blue and yellow cookies, which represent the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
“I’ve seen in the Newton Facebook group a lot of people trying to gather supplies for refugees … [but] I haven’t really seen a lot of specific fundraising,” she said.
According to its website, Save the Children’s work in Ukraine currently provides essential supplies like clothing and blankets, monetary assistance, and health services to Ukrainian refugee children.
One story featured on the organization’s website highlights a Ukrainian family that fled the dangerous conditions and waited at the Romanian border for 15 hours before they were allowed to cross over into safer territory.
Save the Children provided support to that family when they reached Romania, as well as others who also fled.
“Thanks to the support of people like you, we’re going to help many more children get life-saving care—and a chance of the future they deserve,” the website reads.
Ferguson said she felt it was a necessity to contribute to funds like Save the Children.
“I think it is important that people feel like there are things they can do to help,” she said. “Because everybody can do something, whether it’s this or another issue going on in the world, … and I just think [helping others] is a really powerful thing.”
Ferguson, who moved to Newton in September, said the number of people participating in her fundraiser shocked her. She said she is moving one step at a time and hopes to support other humanitarian causes in Ukraine in the future.
“I’m just doing this out of my kitchen in our apartment, so it’s been a little overwhelming in a good way,” Ferguson said. “I’d love to do more to help [the Ukrainian community]. I just guess I kind of need to figure out what that looks like.”
Ferguson wants her family to see this act of aid and kindness as a lesson for the future.
“I have a young daughter, and I want to teach her that everybody can do something to help,” she said.
Featured Image Courtesy of Rebecca Ferguson