Local bagel shop selling cookies to raise funds for Ukraine

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – Local efforts are stepping up here in western Massachusetts to help the people of Ukraine as Russia takes over the country.

Western Mass News spoke with 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 pack a few bags and see where that takes me,” Julie Belyshev said.

Boutique partner Anatoliy Belyshev and his Ukrainian-born wife Julie started Friday with a presale of about 30 cookies, and they quickly had to ramp up additional batches.

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

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

“People just wanted to be a part of that, so even though it was $5, people just wanted to give more, more,” Julie added.

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

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

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

“I think what she’s asking is just to pray for her husband and all these children, because he goes to places like Kiev, he gets bombed and attacked, and it’s not safe,” he said. Julie said. “Her husband is risking his life to go there.”

If you want to donate, you can either go to their website or via PayPal.

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