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Pysanky Eggs from Ukraine

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Update August 20, 2022: THANK YOU for your support of our fundraising efforts on behalf of our friend Kyrylo Cherniak and the Ukrainian artisans he works with! Between our purchases of these artisan goods and your transactional support in purchasing them, we were able to send over $1,000 this past spring to Kyrylo in support of those artisans and in support of Kyrylo's efforts in helping his fellow citizens of Lviv and other parts of Ukraine in their time of crisis. We have been trying to reach Kyrylo over the summer, but so far we have not heard back. It's not unusual for him to take a long time to write back, so we remain hopeful that he is safe. When we do hear from Kyrylo, we will order more of these handmade pysanky from him. As long as the artisans there are making things and as long as Kyrylo can send them our way, we can continue to support them by buying what they make.

Pysanky eggs are a springtime tradition in Eastern Europe, where they are a beautiful aspect of the Easter celebration. These wooden pysanky are painted by hand by women in remote villages of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine. They paint the eggs in traditional patterns. No two are alike, in both size and pattern, but each is generally about the size of an extra large egg. Assorted colors and patterns; let us choose for you. (But you know us: if you have a special request, just ask and we'll see what we can do to get you what you want.) Buy them individually or get a half dozen in a compostable egg carton for a special price, or a buy a dozen (packaged in 2 half dozen compostable egg cartons) for an even better price.

And what can we say right now about Ukraine? Our hearts are breaking for everyone in Ukraine. We think especially of the artisans who make these pysanky, and our friend Kyrylo Cherniak, who organizes their shipment to us. He lives in Lviv, in western Ukraine, and he gives us updates on what is happening there. When last we heard from Kyrylo, on the 6th of March, he told us that his city, which normally has a population of about 800,000, had swelled to 1.5 million as Lviv absorbs refugees from the harder hit areas of Ukraine in the north, south, and east. Kyrylo sells traditional Ukrainian crafts, and he has a second business making pizza. He helps as he can, making and bringing pizza to those living in the refugee camps, and also buying and delivering medicine and other pharmacy items. (March 28 update: We heard from Kyrylo again today. He writes: Hello John, I'm fine. How it is possible here. Just a few missles attack to our town from our last conversation. Madness here, unfortunately. Yours sincerely, Kyrylo)

We pray for peace and an end to Russian agression for Kyrylo and the artisans who make these pysanky and all the people of Ukraine.

One tangible way we have of helping the people of Ukraine is by supporting our friend in his efforts. We are sending all our profits from the sale of these pysanky eggs back to Kyrylo, so he can continue to help his fellow citizens in crisis –– by feeding the refugees, and by supporting the artisans who make the things he still ships from Ukraine to us. Maybe you can find it in your heart to buy these items even after Easter –– perhaps in solidarity with our friends in Ukraine, as we do what we can to support them directly. We like to think of it as all the hope and promise of an egg, translated to hope and promise for a peaceful Ukraine, sovereign and free from oppression.

This is entirely what we mean when we talk about transactional support for our artisans and the real people we touch through our oddball Convivio Bookworks business model. From us, and them: Thank you for your support.

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