Editor’s note: The Easton-Sviatohirsk Family Sunflower Festival has been rescheduled for Aug. 6 due to the heat advisory that has been issued for this weekend.

The Easton-Sviatohirsk Sister City Steering Committee is pleased to announce that we have raised enough money to purchase a dump truck and many seeds for vegetable (Victory) gardens for the residents of Sviatohirsk in order to start rebuilding and cultivating their farms and yards. Sviatohirsk, like Easton, is largely a farm community and protector of watershed and wetlands, which was the reasoning behind the pairing of the two towns, by the Ukraine Aide International Sister City Alliance effort. We are also on the way to raising money for a water filtration system for Sviatohirsk from the funds raised through Easton donors. 

But we can’t stop here! Along with a water filtration system, the residents of Sviatohirsk are in dire need of heating materials before winter arrives, to replace the coal they have been cut off from. Ukraine Aid International, the Easton-Sviatohirsk Steering Committee and Easton residents can make a huge difference in helping Sviatohirsk purchase machines to turn their many downed trees into efficient heating materials, such as wood pellets and briquettes. These machines will cost approximately 30,000 dollars. It’s urgent that we raise these funds ASAP so that the residents of Sviatohirsk, particularly young children and the elderly, have heat this winter to keep them from suffering from hypothermia and other life-threatening ailments.

We have recently sent out postcards with the UAI website information and donation link to every household in Easton. We also have upcoming fundraisers that can be enjoyed by all, such as the first annual Sviatohirsk Sunflower Family Festival on Aug. 6, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Samuel Staples Elementary School’s sunflower field. There will be many fun-filled activities for children and the entire family amidst a seven-acre bloomed sunflower field. We ask that you dress up in sunflower attire if possible.

Please join us! And please consider making a donation via the UAI website.

Donations for the Easton- Sviatohirsk Sister City campaign can be made by visiting www.UkraineAidInternational.org/donate, where tax-deductible donations can be made by credit, debit, check or wire. Donors supporting the Easton-Sviatohirsk sister city partnership should choose the “Easton – Sviatohirsk Sister City” designation on the donation page, or write “Easton” in the memo line of a check or wire.

Easton residents are encouraged to share the donation link with their friends, family, and neighbors and to use social media to raise awareness about the campaign. The town of Easton is rallying behind the cause, showing solidarity with their sister city and the people of Sviatohirsk in a time of unprecedented need. See you at the festival!

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