After eight years of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and following a Russian military build-up on the Russian-Ukrainian border from late 2021, the conflict escalated significantly when Russia launched a large-scale invasion scale of Ukraine in February 2022.
North Bend resident Carol Morrison, a retired psychotherapist who has lived in the valley for 22 years, was deeply distressed by the suffering of Ukrainians, but unsure if she could volunteer more.
However, after a chat with her husband Ed, she jokes that she “watched herself” start a fundraiser for Ukraine at her church, the Snoqualmie United Methodist Church (SUMC), which she has been attending since. 2016.
Carol had ordered Ukrainian food from a fundraiser when she was in California visiting family and loved the food and the idea of using it for fundraising.
So, Morrison pitched the idea on social media and was thrilled with the responses she received from the Snoqualmie Valley community. Responses included offers to cook Ukrainian food in people’s homes and the Eagles Lodge people’s offer of their kitchen.
However, unfortunately, due to health regulations, this was not allowed, which discouraged Morrison.
Then a neighbor gave the coordinates of Carol Francesco Montalto. Montalto owned Francesco’s Restaurant on Snoqualmie Ridge since June 2018 and thinks Snoqualmie and the valley is a special place with a diverse culture. Montalto likes the community to be safe, educated, family oriented and the best place to feel away and close to everything within a few miles.
The restaurant owner has always been involved in fundraising, from Encompass to Snoqualmie, Children’s Hospital and now in Ukraine. His wife is Ukrainian and has lived in the United States for 25 years.
Montalto says, “I help because peace should be the first topic of every topic among us humans, and Ukrainians are fighting for peace, and so they need our help to keep the peace. The problem is that children and civilians are the victims of power-seeking tyrants. My motto is peace.
Since Montalto had recently hosted a fundraiser for Ukraine himself, when Morrison contacted him, he enthusiastically told him that he and his staff would donate the kitchen for all meals. The fundraiser already had donations to cover the cost of the ingredients. Morrison was deeply touched and happy.
SUMC decided to donate the profits to Help Ukraine 22, a humanitarian aid effort aimed at filling the gaps in immediate aid to Ukrainians in need. North Bend resident Nancy Baker was recommended to Carol by a church member. Baker is heavily involved in the organization and was very helpful, as were members of the SUMC community and congregation who volunteered to help on the day of the event.
The take-and-drive event takes place on Saturday, May 21. They offer a menu of Holubtsi, which is cabbage stuffed with rice, chicken, onions and carrots and Olivier salad, potatoes, peas, pickles, cucumbers, ham and eggs. . They ask for a donation of $18 per meal.
Orders must be placed by noon on Tuesday, May 17 and can be picked up at SUMC between 3 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21st. An outdoor dining option is available. Click here to order.
Every dollar you donate goes directly to Ukraine. And SUMC has learned that they now have a donor who will match all the money they raise!