How you can help support Ukraine from here in Santa Cruz

A peace sign in the yellow and blue of Ukraine stands near the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz
A peace sign in the yellow and blue of Ukraine stands near the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Individuals, organizations and businesses around Santa Cruz County are rallying behind those affected by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Here are some ways your dollars can make a difference.

Many of us feel Ukraine’s pain, distant as it is geographically. Lookout has put together a list of local efforts to support those affected by the ongoing conflict. If you know about more of them, or are involved in them, please email

To get courageous, on-the-ground reporting from the heart of Ukraine, check out Kyiv Independent, a news organization with a young, dedicated and journalistically sound team. You can support the Independent’s work through links at the top of the home page.


Friday, April 1: Activist group Artists Respond & Resist Together hosts an event highlighting the Ukrainian art of egg decorating at downtown’s Curated By the Sea gallery, with proceeds going to World Central Kitchen. Details here.

Saturday, April 2: Santa Cruz locals and second-generation Ukrainian Americans Tatiana Burdiak and Billy Prusinowski are hosting a virtual lesson on Ukrainian folk dancing, with 100% of the $10 donation going to Ukraine relief. Details here.

Saturday, April 2: Artists and community members are donating lightly used goods for a yard sale at 1017 Windham St. in Santa Cruz, with proceeds going to nonprofits providing humanitarian relief for those affected by the war in Ukraine. Details here.

Saturday, April 2: Amateur bakers Bobby Baker and Heidi Kozlowski host an outdoor fundraiser at 31 Sunset Dr. in Watsonville featuring sweet and savory treats, with proceeds going to nonprofit Direct Relief for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Details here.

Sunday, April 3: Hallcrest Vineyards in Felton will host an afternoon of traditional Ukrainian folk dancing, music, food and more, with 50% of proceeds from sales of wine and cider at the free event going to humanitarian relief efforts. Details here.

Ongoing: Sante Adairius Rustic Ales launch an IPA named Platform 4 on Tuesday, March 29. All profits will go to World Central Kitchen, chef Jose Andres’ global organization that provides meals to people on the front lines of humanitarian, climate and community crises all over the world. Platform 4 is available at Sante Adairius’ Capitola and Santa Cruz locations.

Ongoing: Santa Cruz’s Sugar Bakery is donating proceeds from sales of its signature macarons to Ukraine relief. Follow here for details and updates.

Ongoing: Pacific Cookie Company is selling a tower of a dozen cookies in the blue and yellow colors of Ukraine, with proceeds going to World Central Kitchen. Available at its Pacific Avenue story and online; details here.

TBA: San Lorenzo Valley native chef Jessica Yarr has a pair of fundraisers in the works: a weekly soup pre-order, with 10% of proceeds going to the nonprofit Voices of Children Foundation, and an April fundraiser with baker Jennifer Latham, formerly of San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery. Sign up for Yarr’s newsletter here for more information, and follow her Eastern Europe-focused pop-up Chickenfoot here. Yarr raised $2,400 for nonprofit Sunflower of Peace with an event the first weekend of March.

Where to donate

Temple Beth El, Santa Cruz County’s largest temple, points to two organizations engaged in support work:

  • World Union for Progressive Judaism: The World Union for Progressive Judaism is working to establish a Jewish refugee center in Poland to welcome families fleeing Ukraine. Those who donate will receive an update every few days about current developments. Donate here.
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: HIAS has partnered with Right to Protection, an independent Ukrainian nonprofit based in Kyiv that provides legal assistance and advocacy for displaced people. With so many fleeing the war in Ukraine, their services are more vital now than ever. Donate here.

The Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has put together a well-rounded list of vetted, largely national, organizations supporting Ukraine. Take a look through the list here.

CNN’s Where to Give can walk you through how to support 44 vetted organizations.

And, of course, beware of scammers. Inevitably, digital fraudsters try to take advantage of generosity; here is a quick guide to avoiding them.

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