Winston-Salem family sells sunflowers to benefit Ukraine

Lots of neighbors came together in Ardmore Saturday, most leaving with handfuls of sunflower seedlings. The hundreds of plants on display were all grown by one family with a special purpose in mind. “Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine,” said Alison Shermeta, who organized the sale. “We thought it would be so cool to be able to drive through Winston and see sunflowers that maybe we grew. It’s a great way for the community to show their support.” Shermeta ran a fundraiser with a similar idea when Russia first invaded Ukraine, selling stuffed cabbage using her grandmother’s recipe. She said she raised $ 2,500 for World Central Kitchen, which helps feed people in Ukraine as well as those who are displaced. Her kids, Shermeta said, feel especially tied to their Ukrainian heritage and wanted to do something to help. Staring at the thousands of sunflower seeds they’d harvested from their own plants in the fall, she said the idea took root immediately. “It’s important to us that we are active about issues that are important to our values ​​in our family,” Shermeta said. “They hold their Ukrainian ancestry so proudly and I do too. And I love to see that they were very motivated to do something.” It became a community effort quickly. They collected pots from people, quickly filling up their entire back porch with more than 500 baby sunflower plants. Months later, as the war continues on, Shermeta took to Facebook to advertise this unique fundraiser. One of the neighbors saw her post in the Ardmore group and said, “I knew I had to be here.” The family said it’s encouraging to see how many people in the community care. “What’s going on in Ukraine is tragic and terrifying. It feels hopeless and just awful,” Shermeta said. “But people here want to do something. That fills us with hope. Gives the kids hope, as well. They’re doing something and they’re making a difference.” If you missed the sunflower sale and want to contribute to the fundraiser, Venmo donations to @ Alison-Shermeta.

Lots of neighbors came together in Ardmore Saturday, most leaving with handfuls of sunflower seedlings. The hundreds of plants on display were all grown by one family with a special purpose in mind.

“Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine,” said Alison Shermeta, who organized the sale. “We thought it would be so cool to be able to drive through Winston and see the sunflowers that maybe we grew. It’s a great way for the community to show their support.”

Shermeta ran a fundraiser with a similar idea when Russia first invaded Ukraine, selling stuffed cabbage using her grandmother’s recipe. She said she raised 2,500 for World Central Kitchen, which helps feed people in Ukraine as well as those who are displaced.

Her kids, Shermeta said, feel especially tied to their Ukrainian heritage and wanted to do something to help. Staring at the thousands of sunflower seeds they’d harvested from their own plants in the fall, she said the idea took root immediately.

“It’s important to us that we are active about issues that are important to our values ​​in our family,” Shermeta said. “They hold their Ukrainian ancestry so proudly and I do too. And I love to see that they were very motivated to do something.”

It became a community effort quickly. They collected pots from people, quickly filling up their entire back porch with more than 500 baby sunflower plants. Months later, as the war continues on, Shermeta took to Facebook to advertise this unique fundraiser.

One of the neighbors saw her post in the Ardmore group and said, “I knew I had to be here.”

The family said it’s encouraging to see how many people in the community care.

“What’s going on in Ukraine is tragic and terrifying. It feels hopeless and just awful,” Shermeta said. “But people here want to do something. That fills us with hope. Gives the kids hope, as well. They’re doing something and they’re making a difference.”

If you missed the sunflower sale and want to contribute to the fundraiser, Venmo donations to @ Alison-Shermeta.

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