East Auckland bake sale raises nearly $4000 for Ukraine

May 18, 2022

East Auckland bake sale raises nearly $4000 for Ukraine

A team of volunteers outside Rices Mall at the Howick Markets. Photo: Olga Middlemiss.

Locals raised thousands of dollars in Ukrainian aid through a sell-out bake sale in East Auckland last weekend.

And a local Ukrainian Kiwi said it will give direct, practical help.

“While what we have raised seems like a tiny drop in a massive ocean, it all adds up. If our efforts provide a few meals, freshwater, sterile bandages, and warm blankets, then absolutely, it is all worth it,” said Olga Middlemiss, one of the organisers.

Although the fundraiser was set to run 8am to noon, everything had sold out before 10:30am at the two locations on Picton Street, Rices Mall and outside Jetts Gym.

A key organiser was Julia Foster, a hairdresser whose clients and friends helped out by baking or supporting on the day.

She said the community support was overwhelming, from locals donating baking and money, to the “Shop local, shop Howick” social media page that let them advertise regularly, as well as those that came to purchase baked goods on the day.

As well as those, including around 40 volunteer bakers, 10 local cafes donated baking and coffee vouchers and friends turned up to help.

“The main goal was to unite our communities and stand with Ukraine, support the Ukrainian community, and raise some cash to send to those in need,” she says.

The idea for the fundraiser started after Middlemiss, another key organiser of the event, raised $2000 on her own by selling cupcakes.

“It gave me the idea that we could take that idea and make it happen on a bigger scale,” said Foster.

Middlemiss, who is originally from Ukraine and has family living there, says the money raised will go straight to organisations needing the most aid.

“It is my homeland and I cannot sit by and watch how our country is being torn apart and how innocent children are dying every day".

Middlemiss explains that many people want to help but are unsure how, and this bake sale was an opportunity to get involved.

The group of volunteers is open to continue fundraising for as long as the war continues and help is needed.

A Givealittle page has been set up to receive donations, the money going towards food, medical supplies and assistance for children in orphanages in Ukraine.

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