Ukrainian-born Austinite selling candles to raise money for her country

A woman in Austin is using her candle-making skills to support her home country of Ukraine. 

"It was just an idea that was sparked within a few minutes, and we just went to work," said Kateryna Vasylyshyn. "It’s the only way I know how to support them."

"Them" is her family and her people. Vasylyshyn was born and raised in Ukraine until her parents moved to the U.S. when she was 10 years old. 

Some of her family is still overseas in Ukraine. Right now, they’re in a safer part of the country helping refugees from eastern Ukraine, but there are many unknowns. One of her cousins just enlisted in the army.

"We’re really proud of him, and we really are afraid for him as well," she said. "He is putting himself in danger, and we’re just not really sure what his fate is going to be."

When she’s not overseeing the candle-making, Vasylyshyn is on the phone with her family.

"They’re the first thing on my mind every day," she said. "It’s just been very, very difficult, every single conversation almost brings me to tears."

And while separated by miles of land and ocean, she’s hoping the Austin community will consider lighting a flame for those overseas.

"I think it’s just a very convenient and easy way to donate and know that the profits are going to a good place." 

Sales of Vasylyshyn’s candles will go directly to two nonprofits supporting Ukrainians: Razom and Sunflower of Peace.

If you’d like to purchase a candle, click here or here.

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