Mi'kmaw artist's sunflower pins raising money for Ukraine relief
Sunflowers are Ukraine's national flower, 100 pins being sold in support of relief efforts
As the heart-wrenching images and horrifying stories emerge of Russia's invasion in Ukraine, Vida Woodworth wanted to replace the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and despair with support and caring.
It is work she supports daily at After Trauma Empowerment Network (ATEN) in Shubenacadie, N.S.
She volunteers and is chair of the board of directors for the not-for-profit resource centre that "helps to empower individuals, families and communities affected by trauma."
"There have been many tears shed since the violence and bombing has started in the Ukraine," said Woodworth.
She turned to a fellow ATEN volunteer, Leanna MacLeod, a Mi'Kmaw artist, to create something to sell in support of victims of the invasion.
"After hearing about the crisis in Ukraine, my heart cried for them all," MacLeod said. "I wanted to reach out in solidarity and support of the people in Ukraine."
They decided on a beaded tear-shaped pin and thoughtful details that represent Ukraine.
The tear is made of blue leather and has a backing of birch bark. Blue is one of the two stripes in the Ukrainian flag and represents the deep blue of the sky over the country. It also symbolizes freedom, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and faith.
While the yellow stripe represents the golden wheat fields of Ukraine, the bright colour is a sign of hope, positivity, joy, honour and loyalty.
Each teardrop has a yellow sunflower, the flower of Ukraine, beaded in the centre.
Each flower has a beaded green stem that is completed with a gold bead.
Green was used to depict the comforting and calming colour found in nature while the gold bead represents the many valuable resources found in Ukraine including its brave, strong and resilient people.
Each teardrop takes approximately two hours to make from start to finish.
MacLeod will create a limited run of 100 pins to be sold for a minimum donation of $50 for each pin. Each pin is numbered and signed by the artist.
All money will be donated to humanitarian relief efforts for those fleeing the invasion and to assist Ukrainians seeking refuge in Nova Scotia.