Creative Ukraine relief fundraisers pop up across Bay Area

From a baker's famous cakes, to a music festival organizer, tapping into his network to send supplies to Ukraine, the Bay Area is finding unique ways to deliver aid.

"I just felt completely helpless," said acclaimed San Francisco pastry chef, Michelle Polzine. She started a cake fundraiser after watching the endless bombardment of Ukraine on the news. Polzine has baked hundreds of layers of her famed Russian, now Ukrainian, honey cake, and raised $17,000 for humanitarian aid in the process.

"You have grandmas who are like learning to use guns. So, you have ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And so I guess that’s the message, is that people can do something, you can do something," said Polzine.

It's a message that seems to be resonating all across the Bay Area. Eugene Tarasov, a Google employee and music festival organizer, is using his skills and connections to fundraise.

"First it was a shock," said Tarasov who has friends who have died during the conflict in Ukraine. "For a week we were just crying out loud. We couldn’t believe this was happening, and then I was able to help a few people out of the country."

Tarasov recently started, Hearts for Ukraine, to deliver essential resources where they are most needed. This week they are delivering boxes full of supplies to two orphanages and a hospital in Ukraine, with more to come.

"All of it really matters, and if you can help this one specific person, that’s really important," said Dmytro Kushneruk, the Ukraine Consul General in San Francisco.

Kushneruk attended a fundraiser Tuesday, organized by the Contra Costa Republican Party, to buy body armor for Ukrainian volunteer soldiers through the Ukranian American Coordinating Council.

"Truly overwhelmed with how quickly and emphatically people have come to support," said Lydia Stoykovych of the Ukranian American Coordinating Council.

Organizers say the event raised upwards of $28,000.