Raising money for a new library for Ukrainian refugees

Our blog posts normally focus on the books we have acquired for our own University Library, but this one instead celebrates a fundraising initiative to buy books for a new library for Ukrainian refugees.  Yesterday, our department ran a cake and crafts sale in the UL’s tea room, featuring delicious and beautiful handmade goods made largely by my colleagues in CAL but with generous additions from others.  Over the course of just two 1-hour sessions, we raised well over £400 for the library being planned by the extraordinarily active, thoughtful, and imaginative Cambridge4Ukraine group.  In last week’s Ukraine blog post, I included a photo of Ukrainian decorated eggs (pysanky) – and this week, here are the exquisite pysanky that colleagues made for the sale.  Readers will spot strong Ukrainian influences in the decoration: messages in Ukrainian, blue and yellow paint, and the Ukrainian sunflower motif.

Lovely handmade badges – some crocheted and some embroidered – continued the blue and yellow and sunflower themes.

And then there was the food!  Cakes (rhubarb & meringue, lemon, yoghurt, apple), Ukrainian babky buns (chocolate, cinnamon), and biscuits (cinnamon & cardamom, shortbread, traditional Ukrainian honey), took their place alongside meringues and Argentinian savoury chipa.

It was a terribly touching experience for us all to sell such lovely things to our colleagues and to readers for such a great cause.  Thank you to everyone involved – the caterers, artists, salespeople, and all those who gave money so generously.

If you are inspired by the pysanky here, then do sign up for the workshop being run by Cambridge4Ukraine this Sunday, the Catholic and Orthodox Easter Day in Ukraine – and in Russia.  Let us hope (and pray, if appropriate) vehemently for an Easter ceasefire.

Mel Bach


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