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Local bagel shop selling cookies to raise money for Ukraine

Western Mass News spoke to a local bagel shop in Longmeadow about their fundraising efforts to help family friends on the ground.
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 9:26 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Local efforts are ramping up here in western Massachusetts to help the people of Ukraine as Russia grips hold of the country.

Western Mass News spoke to a local bagel shop in Longmeadow about their fundraising efforts to help family friends on the ground.

Blue and yellow cookies were sold this weekend at Alex’s Bagel Shop in Longmeadow to support Ukrainian efforts.

“I thought maybe I could just bake some cookies and just make a couple of bags and see where that takes me,” said Julie Belyshev.

Partner of the shop Anatoliy Belyshev and his wife Julie, who was born in Ukraine, started with a pre-sale on Friday of about 30 cookies, and they quickly had to ramp up additional batches.

“So then, it was 70-something and they sold out again, so today we brought 130 cookies, and again they sold out,” Julie said, “so we kept doubling up, and people were just so crazy about the cookies and just wanted to support and it’s so amazing.”

The cookies sold for $5 each, but the couple told us that the community was more than generous.

“People just wanted to be a part of this, so even though they were 5 dollars, people just wanted to donate more, more,” Julie added.

100% of the proceeds will go directly to their family friends on the ground in Ukraine, Svetlana and Ivan Vilkhovoy, who are carrying out missionary work through the Almsgiving Foundation.

“Ivan is on the ground right now,” Anatoliy told us. “Just yesterday, we saw a post that they were transporting over 50 kids and trying to bring them to a safe place. I think, right now, a lot of people don’t have safe places to stay.”

The couple is asking for prayers for the Vilkhovoy family as tensions continue to grow between Ukraine and Russia.

“I think what she is asking for is just to please pray for her husband and all those kids, because he’s going to territories like Kyiv, he’s getting bombed and attacked, and it’s not safe,” said Julie. “Her husband is risking his life to go there.”

If you would like to donate, you can either go to their website, or through PayPal.