A Ukrainian-owned bakery in San Antonio, Texas took a stand against Russia’s invasion by donating the entire weekend’s worth of their sales to efforts taking root in Ukraine.
Thousands of people in the area stood in a line, which continued for several blocks, to enter Laika Cheesecakes and Espresso, where everything they spent went to Ukrainians in need of assistance.
In only three days, from February 25 through 27, Ukrainian business owner Anna Afanasieva raised over $72,400 for her country with the help of her Slovakian business partner Viktor Krizma.
“The idea to help came very naturally,” 28-year-old Afanasieva said. “What else could we do? We are here, not in Ukraine where we can bear arms and go fight the Russians. But we can at least sell cheesecakes and make something good out of it.”
On a Wednesday morning, Afanasieva was shopping for groceries for the bakery in a nearby store when she received a call from her mother, who still lives in Ukraine. She could hear a large explosion over the phone, explained by her mother, but Afanasieva did not want to believe it.
“I told her don’t worry, it has to be the Ukrainian army doing military exercises,” Afanasieva said. “I was trying to calm her down because I didn’t full believe anything could really happen. It wasn’t real.” But once she scanned social media, she realized the situation was more serious.
“I’m as close to Ukraine as I could be, almost everyone I love is there. It’s where I was born, it’s where I grew up, so this is the worst possible thing that could ever happen to me,” Afanasieva said. “I don’t know how to put into words how much my heart is breaking. I’m detached from my life here in the U.S. Mentally, 100% of me is in Ukraine.”
Anafasieva discovered that $25,000 of the money she raised was from donations alone, not the sales of her cheesecakes. Regardless, all the funds will be sent to a special account of the National Bank of Ukraine with will then go to the support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HEADTOPICS.COM