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Pocatello woman hosting fundraiser at Barrie’s Ski and Sports on Saturday to benefit Ukraine

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - It's been two years since the war between Russia and Ukraine began, and during that time, Pocatello resident and Ukraine native Lena Contor has organized multiple fundraisers to help with relief efforts.

Contor is organizing another fundraiser this Saturday at Barrie's Ski and Sports from 3 to 6 p.m.

Contor says they will be selling solar lights for $20 a piece with the proceeds going to purchase flour and firewood. She's hoping to raise $10,000 for the fundraiser.

She has a promise from doTerra Healing Hands to match her dollar for dollar up to that amount. With the $20,000, Contor will purchase an abundant amount of flour and firewood. She says the money will be able to make 132,000 loaves of bread.

"Ukraine is known for having 30% of the world's topsoil," Contor said. "It's kind of an embarrassment. It's like if I was raising money for potatoes for Idaho. Ukraine used to be the breadbasket of Europe, and now all those lands, those fields, even people's gardens are mined."

Contor plans to make deliveries in her eighth trip to Ukraine in a few months, where her safety is tested every time she goes.

"It's been over a year and a half since people slept in their beds," Contor said. "They have to sleep in their cellars in the bomb shelters, because you never know where the bomb is going to fall."

Contor says the tension between the two countries still remains the same

"Unfortunately, it's not getting any closer to the end of it," Contor said. "That's the saddest part for me, because I had a fundraiser exactly a year ago at Barrie's and I didn't think I would have another one, because everyone hoped that the war would be over by now."

Contor wants people to know that giving just a few dollars can have a big effect.

"What you can buy here, you can buy probably five times more in Ukraine," Contor said. "Even $10 can go a long way there."

Even though she's perceived it as repetitive, Contor says she continues to have local support.

"Everybody's getting tired of donating and I understand it," Contor said. "I have even mixed feelings about doing this fundraiser, but I run into people who tell me, no, you still need to do it because there are many people who want to support Ukraine here in Pocatello."

With that support, Contor believes it's her calling to step up and do something.

"I cannot help with this war like I cannot stop it," Contor said. "The only thing I can do is to give them something that they can hold on while this madness is happening."

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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