Snoqualmie United Methodist Church’s Fundraiser for Ukraine

After eight years of conflict between Russia and Ukraine and following a Russian military build-up on the Russia–Ukraine border from late 2021, the conflict expanded significantly when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.[1]

North Bend resident Carol Morrison, a retired psychotherapist who has lived in the valley for 22 years, was greatly distressed about the suffering people in Ukraine but unsure if she could take on more volunteer work.

However, after a discussion with husband Ed, she jokes she “watched herself” start a fundraiser for Ukraine at her church, Snoqualmie United Methodist Church (SUMC) which she has attended since 2016.

Carol had ordered Ukrainian food from a fundraiser when she was in California visiting family and loved the food and the idea of using it for fundraising.

So, Morrison put out the idea on social media and was delighted at the responses she got from the Snoqualmie Valley community. The responses included offers to cook Ukrainian food in people’s homes and the Eagles Lodge folks’ offer of their kitchen.

However, unfortunately, due to health regulations, that wasn’t allowed leaving Morrison feeling discouraged.

Then a neighbor gave Carol Francesco Montalto’s contact info. Montalto has owned Francesco’s Ristorante on Snoqualmie Ridge since June 2018 and believes Snoqualmie and the valley is a special place with diversified culture. Montalto likes that the community is safe, educated, family-oriented, and the best place to feel far away and close to everything within a few miles.

The restaurant owner has always been involved with fundraising, from Encompass in Snoqualmie, Children’s Hospital, and now Ukraine. His wife is Ukrainian and has lived in the US for 25 years.

Says Montalto, “I am helping because peace should be the first topic of every topic among us humans, and Ukrainian are fighting for peace, and so they need our help to keep peace. The problem is that children and civilians are the victims of tyrants with a power trip. My motto is peace.”

Since Montalto had recently done a fundraiser for Ukraine himself, when Morrison contacted him, he enthusiastically told her he and his staff would donate the cooking for all the meals. The fundraiser already had donations to cover the cost of the ingredients. Morrison was deeply touched and happy.

SUMC decided to donate the proceeds to Help Ukraine 22, a humanitarian aid effort to fill gaps in immediate assistance for Ukrainians in need. Nancy Baker, a North Bend resident, was recommended to Carol by a church member. Baker is heavily involved in the organization and has been very helpful, as have community and SUMC congregational members who have volunteered to help the day of the event.

The drive-thru takeout event is on Saturday, May 21. They are featuring a menu of Holubtsi, which is stuffed cabbage with rice, chicken, onion, and carrots and Olivier salad, Potatoes, peas, pickles, cucumbers, ham, and eggs. They are asking for a donation of $18 per meal.

Orders must be placed before noon on Tuesday, May 17th and can be picked up at SUMC between 3 and 6 pm on Saturday the 21st. An outside dining option is available. Click here to order.

Every dollar you donate goes directly to help Ukraine. And SUMC learned they now have a donor who will match all the money they raise!


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