‘They are not alone:’ Downtown Mount Dora merchants get creative in stand with Ukraine

MOUNT DORA — Corporations in downtown Mount Dora are exhibiting their support for Ukraine by portray sunflowers on their storefront windows in lieu of the recent Russian invasion and the harmless lives missing.

Spouses With Houses owner Jeanette Bokland said she woke up 1 early morning and had the idea to paint the sunflowers on her home windows for two factors — for the reason that sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine and for the reason that of a current news tale of a brave girl she saw.

“The story explained to how a Ukrainian lady explained to a Russian soldier that he was not welcome right here, then handed him sunflowers and claimed ‘When you die here, at least a thing great will improve,’” Bokland stated. “I felt like that was her way of ‘sticking it’ to Russia. The flowers are our way of standing with Ukraine.”

The thought rapidly spread as Bokland obtained in touch with Mount Dora Mayor Crissy Stile, who also operates the merchant association. Downtown organizations took up the lead to and volunteer artists started doing the job on the home windows, including scholar artists from Montessori Middle Faculty and Mount Dora Significant. The metropolis also wrapped the downtown lamp posts in sunflowers.

“It’s the the very least we could do to present our assist,” Dwelling and Garden Treasures proprietor Lisa Winslow reported. “These people today are staying killed for no reason at all. Sunflowers are content and it’s a symbol of unity and hope, which everyone wants ideal now.”

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The downtown firms have also gotten together to give monetary donations to Earth Central Kitchen, wck.org, which is offering hot foods on the border for Ukrainians. Bokland is also gathering donations at her storefront.

Lena Navarro, one of the regional artists, is originally from Ukraine and claimed she can’t imagine how substantially adore and aid she is observing from persons who have no relationship to Ukraine but just want to present them really like.

“I started out crying when I initially commenced seeing the storefronts paint the sunflowers,” Navarro stated. “It was so mind-boggling to see. They want to paint the total city and assist individuals they never even know.”

Navarro was an artist in Ukraine and moved below with her husband four several years in the past. She swiftly supplied her companies for the downtown shops, working with a common Ukrainian portray strategy with the blue and yellow shades. Under the flowers, she writes a word in Ukrainian that usually means “Ukraine Are living.”

“I know my sunflowers really do not conserve life, but it is what I can do in this article,” Navarro reported. “I just located out about the donations people are providing and am so pleased that possibly my flowers are someway conserving lives. Every single tiny donation aids a mom who is seeking to get food stuff for her starving boy or girl. I have shared pictures of our bouquets back residence and anyone is influenced to know that there are other men and women in the environment who are standing with them. They are not by itself.”

Bokland stated the gesture is drawing the attention of individuals all about Florida, who are coming to Mount Dora just to see the sunflowers.

“This one lady arrived from Oviedo,” Bokland explained. “She introduced her daughter and informed her that this is what community appears to be like.”

This write-up originally appeared on Every day Professional: Supporting Ukraine: Mount Dora retailers paint sunflowers on windows