This post is part of our series Razom Says “Dyakuyu.” Dyakuyu means “thank you” in Ukrainian. Our work supporting Ukraine and getting humanitarian aid on the ground where it is needed most, would not be possible without generous donors. We will be highlighting the work, donations, and stories of several individuals and organizations who have agreed to be publicly featured on our website.
Our amazing volunteers and donors all over the world have responded in creative ways to support Razom for Ukraine and this solidarity has taken different shapes – including that of a tasty Ukrainian dumpling, varenyk. Or more precisely, thousands of varenyky.
Inspired by their Baba, the Ukrainian word for grandmother, New York-based sisters Natalka and Yulia Horbachevsky, along with some of their cousins, organized a varenyk sale in the New York City, Westchester, and Orange county areas. A family-run pop-up fundraising initiative was born along with an Instagram account and a website called “Baba Aid for Ukraine.”
Over the course of a week, they prepared over 1,600 beautiful, half-moon potato-stuffed dumplings for friends and colleagues to purchase. In addition to all the varenyky, the Horbachevsky family cooked up 50 pounds of tsybulya, fried onions (a delicious topping for the dumplings that are also sometimes called pierogies). Proceeds from the sale went toward Razom’s Emergency Response fund. It was a big undertaking by a single family focused on providing vital support to the many families in Ukraine separated and impacted by russia’s brutal war.
Despite the massive quantity of varenyky produced, no sooner had the fundraiser been announced, the “sold out” phrase was splashed across their webpage. To anyone ever exposed to a Ukrainian baba’s cooking, this isn’t a big surprise!
And it wasn’t only the taste of varenyky with tsybulya that drew supporters, people sent money to the Horbachevsky’s account without expecting any potato dumplings in exchange. Varenyky or not, people rushed to take part in this initiative to support Razom’s humanitarian relief efforts.
“Our sales, coupled with very generous donations, far exceeded our expectations for this drive,” Natalka told Razom when she reached out asking how they could transfer $18,500 of collected funds.
Razom and all the people who we’ve been able to support on the ground in Ukraine during the war say “dyakuyu” to the Horbachevsky family for their support and the incredible cooking initiative!