With the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine widening, the jewelry industry is stepping up with fundraising events, donations to support organizations, and its social media platforms to spread awareness, hope, and information to the public.
The world’s gaze and horror turned to Ukraine starting Feb. 24, when Russia began the formal invasion of its neighboring country. Since then, companies from Pandora to independent jewelers to jewelry-related groups have announced ways they are supporting Ukrainian citizens and refugee-support services.
For example, Stephanie Dubsky of Stephanie Dubsky Limited Editions in New York created a Peace necklace of blue- and yellow-gold–glazed porcelain beads; 100% of its sales will go to Voices for Children, a nonprofit organization that helps children affected by war.
“Following the news about the Russian invasion in the Ukraine, I was heartbroken, I felt helpless, and knew I had to do something,” Dubsky says. “I am originally from Vienna. Some of my friends are from Ukraine living in Vienna. I saw how they were getting organized on social media and how they were actively involved in helping to find accommodations and donations of any kind to help the refugees. The only way I could think of to contribute was to do a jewelry fundraiser.”
Monica Marcella Guerra created an Instagram auction for her Ojo pendant. Her goal was to use her social media platform and her jewelry to draw attention to the financial needs of the Ukrainian people and refugees during this crisis, she says.
“There are real-life human beings who are affected by this, especially children. I wanted to raise awareness and collect for UNICEF,” Guerra says. “The Ojo can be seen as protection or that you’re keeping your eyes open. You’re being an advocate for the silent.”
Cyndi Yi of The Fab Nab jumped into action to create an Instagram fundraising auction via her Instagram. She started with two of her own items for auction, and, soon enough, other jewelers joined her cause. So far, 14 auctions have raised more nearly $7,000 through completed and still-open auctions to the Global Empowerment Mission.
“I’ve been flooded with absolutely beautiful and special items offered by my amazing friends and fellow dealers that I know,” Yi says. “I’m awed by our community coming together, in an industry that seems frivolous in the face of war, but look at the beauty we have created. Everyone is sharing the auctions, bidding where they can, and donating directly when they cannot. Every repost, every like, and every share has led to our community [coming] together during a dark time.”
Samantha Jackson of Heavenly Vices is among the artists who joined The Fab Nab to raise funds through an online auction of their work. Jackson donated one of her pendants that reads “Love One Another.”
“With my jewelry, people wear their hearts on their necks, and it’s a great piece to start a conversation about the cause I was raising funds for, Vet Crew, an organization that is caring for pets belonging to people fleeing the invasion who cannot for whatever reason take their pets with them,” Jackson says. “These people are going through unimaginable stress, and I cannot imagine having to make the heart-wrenching decision to leave my pets behind. This organization provides relief to those worries and hope that one day they will be reunited back at home.”
Below are some additional highlights of how the jewelry industry is working to provide relief to the Ukraine.
• Harwell Godfrey is donating 100% of the profits from each of her malachite heart talismans (shown at top) to World Central Kitchen (WCK), started by chef José Andrés, which is currently on the ground at the Ukraine-Poland border to help feed refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion. Godfrey has donated more than $23,000 from 2020 forward to WCK through this program.
• Pandora donated $1 million to UNICEF to help Ukrainian children and relief efforts. “We wish to help the children of Ukraine and their families in this terrible conflict. They need shelter, water, food, medicine, safe zones, and other support to live through the crisis. UNICEF’s work is critical and desperately needed,” Alexander Lacik, Pandora CEO, said in a statement.
• Noting that we are all “one global family,” Kendra Scott is donating 50% of the proceeds from her Everlyne bracelets in yellow and navy and all Color Bar styles toward funding relocation and recovery efforts for the Ukrainian people.
• Marla Aaron is donating 100% of the proceeds from her “Take a Seat” charm to WCK as well.
• Bird + Stone is donating 100% of its profits from its Choose Kindness cuffs to CARE’s Ukraine Crisis fund. It also has created a Love Not War bracelet; all of its proceeds also will go to CARE, which provides emergency aid with a focus on the elderly, women, and girls, according to its website.
• The Strap Tailor in collaboration with Justin Hast created the TD Edition Ribbed Nato in blue and gold. All profits from the strap will go to the Red Cross to support the crisis in Ukraine. Its sales are open until Sunday.
Top: Photo courtesy of Harwell Godfrey
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