From craft beer and chocolate-dipped yogurt bars to tea towels and candles, there's something for everyone!
Resolve Beer on aa designed background
Credit: Resolve Beer

If you're like me, staying up to date on the Russian war against Ukraine while not feeling complete existential dread is getting increasingly harder to balance. I've donated to World Central Kitchen and Operation Backpack4Kids (a local UPS pilot is flying toiletries collected at our daughter's school to Cologne, Germany, one of the cities receiving Ukrainian refugees). I want to do more, but I feel more and more powerless every day.

Another way I've found I can help is to support businesses that are raising funds for Ukrainian relief efforts. And my local liquor store is one of them. 

Jennifer Swiatek, who owns the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, Vermont, felt a sense of dread as she watched the news unfold. Her customers did too. She was inundated with requests from customers to stop selling Russian spirits. But Swiatek doesn't have that power (Vermont is a "control state" which means that the state controls the sale of distilled spirits so stores don't have any say in what is stocked on their shelves. Vermont's governor, along with many others, has since banned the sale of Russian spirits.) 

But what she could do was raise money to donate. Swiatek reached out to Vermont's brewing community, and at least five breweries and a cidery have announced they will release special brews, with profits going to support relief organizations in Ukraine. "I'm of Polish heritage," Swiatek says. "I have friends actively taking families in. We want to help lessen the burden so the countries that surround Ukraine can continue to shelter refugees."

Scott Kerner is one of the participating brewers. "We couldn't sit back and watch the atrocities happening to the amazing people of Ukraine without getting involved," says the president of Good Measure Brewing Co. in Northfield, Vermont. They joined a global initiative started by brewers in New York and Kyiv that called on breweries to make a dry-hopped kolsch called Resolve. (At least 23 breweries around the world are participating.) Good Measure is donating 100% of profits from the beer to the Global Empowerment Mission.

These are not the only craft brewing-adjacent folks to fundraise for Ukraine. Award-winning artist and graphic designer Jen Borror of Hoot Design Studio created a sunny yellow beer can label emblazoned with blue and white floral peace signs and posted it on her Instagram account

Make Peace Not War beer can on a designed background
Credit: Make Peace Not War

"What if … we start a revolution in the beer community?? What if breweries collaborate on a common goal to promote peace," the caption starts. A week later the Make Peace Not War campaign was launched in partnership with First Sip Brew Box and digital marketing agency EGC Group. Breweries can customize Borror's label for free. In exchange, the campaign organizers ask that the breweries donate at least 10% of their sales to a charity that's providing relief to those affected by the war in Ukraine. 

First Sip Brew Box, which curates monthly boxes of brewery swag including glassware, snacks and more, created a Make Peace Not War Box featuring Borror's artwork. Each box will include glassware, a T-shirt, stickers, koozies and more."We've done dozens of collaborations over the years raising money for charities," says Sammie Guy, co-founder of First Sip Brew Box. "This one hit home differently and we wanted to be part of it."

Not a beer person? Here are 6 other companies raising funds for Ukrainian relief

1. Clio Greek Yogurt Bars

Clio Greek Yogurt Bar
Credit: Clio

Sergey Konchakovskiy, the founder Cilo Snacks, is a Kyiv native. On March 7, the company announced on Instagram that they'd donate 100% of the proceeds of the online sales of their Mixed Flavor pack yogurt bars to Razom for Ukraine, a nonprofit that furthers democracy in Ukraine (Clio also will match 100% of the donation).

2. Lifeway Foods

Lifeway Charity Relief Kefir
Credit: Lifeway

The Illinois-based maker of kefir and farmer cheese, Lifeway Foods recently sponsored Chicago Chefs Cook for Ukraine. (The company's founder, Michael Smolyansky, and CEO, Julie Smolyansky, are from Kyiv.) More than 70 chefs cooked up delights for 1,500 ticket holders, raising more than $500,000 for World Central Kitchen. Lifeway pledged a donation of $75,000 more. A special-edition Ukraine relief bottle of plain full-fat kefir will be on shelves soon—Lifeway will donate up to an additional $1 million to humanitarian organizations supporting Ukraine. Stay tuned to Instagram for more details.

3. Three Pines Studio Linens

ThreePines Studio Tea towel
Credit: ThreePines Studio

Fiber artist Joann Condino crafted two hand-stamped linen tea towels for Three Pines Studios featuring sunflowers (Ukraine's national flower) and wheat (one of the country's main exports). "I was an activist in the '60s as a young woman," says Condino. "I simply could not see another post of a Ukrainian flag or sunflowers on social media without being keenly aware that the images made us feel good and in solidarity but did not directly feed the Ukrainians and refugees." Proceeds will be donated to World Central Kitchen.

4. Bakers Against Racism

Bakers Against Racism has been raising funds to fight racism through pop-up bake sales since 2020. Now the founders are encouraging bakers to Bake for Ukraine and donate proceeds to organizations like World Central Kitchen and Sunflower of Peace.

5. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Baker Creek's Founder Jere Gettle's great-grandfather emigrated from Ukraine to the United States over 100 years ago. The company announced last month that they'd donate all of their seed sales from February 25 to 27 to World Help, which is providing emergency assistance to Ukraine. It was their largest fundraising effort to date, raising a whopping $1.6 million. More fundraisers may follow; follow them on Instagram to stay up to date. 

6. Door County Candle Company

Door County Candle Company

Not something you can eat or drink, but if you're a "light a candle in support" type of person, head over to Door County Candle Company and buy the Ukrainian Candle. The Ukrainian owner is making these blue-and-yellow-layered vanilla-scented candles in small batches. 100% of the profits will be donated to Razom for Ukraine.