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7-Year-Old Girl in Ukraine is Selling Her Drawings to Support Her Family

A young Ukrainian girl is selling her drawings on Etsy to help support her family. The 7-year-old’s digital artwork ranges from a colorful pair of birds to a cat holding a heart-shaped Ukraine flag and it’s all available online right now.

Nils Laacks, a language coach in Canada, helped spark the idea when he was trying to figure out ways to help his friend Maxim, who lives in Ukraine. “When the war started I felt helpless and shocked like most people around the world,” Laacks wrote in an email. “I was thinking of ways to help this family. I knew that Maxim’s 7-year old niece loves to draw as he had sent me some of her drawings in the past.”

Laacks suggested that Maxim set up an Etsy page for Maria, so they can sell her drawings and raise funds to directly support their family. Maxim did just that and has already racked up 529 sales (along with plenty of glowing reviews!) of her sweet, bright drawings.

“Thank you for keeping your beautiful light shining in these dark times,” one customer wrote, who purchased a drawing of an apple tree. “May humans one day soon evolve beyond war and greed. Holding Ukraine in our hearts and wish you safety and peace.” Another added: “Wonderful – on display in my house.” 

The first few hundred dollars made on Etsy helped Maria and her mom pay for a rental apartment in Ukraine, Laacks explained. Funds have also gone to support other Ukrainians in need. “Maxim was able to buy some pots and pans that the refugee center in Zhovti Vody desperately needed,” he wrote. “He is also buying some protective gear (like helmets, plate carriers, gloves, thermal visors, cameo clothing) and wax to make the camouflage tents waterproof and sends it to the territorial defense whenever he has some extra money.”

Laacks added that this Etsy store has offered an important distraction for the family.
“Maxim could be conscripted into the armed forces at any moment now,” he wrote. “The possibility of being drafted and the uncertainty of not knowing if/when your city will be bombed or attacked by the Russian forces is very stressful but last week he was just focusing on the project with Etsy, reading less news, and helping some refugees from his city.”

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