From breakfast to bed, people are developing unique ways to support Ukraine

At Al’s Breakfast, hope is on the menu.

And it could be for the coming weekends, depending on how long the attack on Ukraine lasts.

This is just one of the many ways Minnesotans are coming up with unique ways to raise funds and try to make a change from so far away.

“I see things happening that I think are unfair, but I also have Ukrainian family, so I’m making that connection,” said Alison Kirwin, the owner of Al’s breakfastsaid as she stood inside the cramped Minneapolis cafe, with a line of hungry customers at her door.

Al’s Breakfast posted an unsolicited message on Facebook, announcing that it would have a special menu for this weekend: Syrniki, or cheese pancakes, which is a traditional treat in Ukraine. Proceeds from the pancakes will go directly to help Ukraine.

Customers crossed state lines to support the restaurant’s good cause.

“It’s amazing to see the resilience of the Ukrainian people and anyway you can help help them, it’s great,” said Andy Wright, who says he drove from Hudson, WI, to enjoy his meal.

But that’s not the only way people get involved to feel like they’re helping Ukrainians in the fight against Russia.

People from all over the country are praising Airbnb in Ukraine without actually registering. The idea is that they hope the money will go directly to the people who need it.

Airbnb is also working to host 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine for free, according to Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of the accommodation company, who tweeted online.

Etsy does something similar.

After a flood of people started downloading digital files directly from Ukrainian stores, the online retailer compiled Exclusively Ukrainian suppliers on its site and has also eliminated sales fees for these accounts so they can fundraise to stand a chance against the Russian military, or on their journeys across the border to safety.

In Minnesota, Iryna Westerfrom Ukraine, came up with a small fundraiser that has since gone viral.

First, Wester began to create earrings in honor of Kiev and his parents who are waiting for the end of the fight in the capital.

“It is not easy.” Wester said as she started to tear up. “It’s nice to have a good base of friends here. So I have a ton of friends here who take care of me and check up on me every day. But it’s not about me, of course, it’s about the people at home. But you are connected to them. But once you stay sane and keep doing what you’re doing, you can help more than just crashing. She added.

With a little suggestion from a friend, the earrings turned into these blue and yellow flower pins which have since grown in popularity.

In just a few weeks, Wester sold more than $8,000 worth of pins that she says went straight to the Ukrainian military.

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