Mary-Lou London is a crafter donating her time and supplies to benefit the Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Mary-Lou London is a crafter donating her time and supplies to benefit the Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Decals raise awareness, money for Ukraine

Murrayville woman puts crafty skills to work for the cause

By Jim McGregor/Special to Langley Advance Times

As the conflict in Ukraine worsens every day, many of us wish we could do something to help.

Murrayville resident Mary-Lou London took that to heart, and put her skills as a crafter to work.

“We are so far from the Ukraine, but watching what is happening there just breaks my heart. I’ve always had a creative side, and I knew, here was something I should be able to do.”

So, she started making car decals with the Ukrainian flag.”

Mine are for car windows, but they can go anywhere, on the windows of the house or anywhere you choose,” London said. “They are weather resistant, so they will last. And I’m starting to see cars around town with my decals on them… it gives me a sense that I’m doing something.”

London makes them at home, and at first she was giving them away.

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“The Ukrainian flag is just two colours – yellow and blue – so it was simple to make. And, after I put a post on the Murrayville Facebook page, I had lots of people asking for them.”

Then someone suggested she ask for donations, so she did.

“So far, I have raised over $595 that will be donated to the people of Ukraine,” London said.

“In the grand scheme of things that is not a lot money right now, but every little bit helps… Since I have started asking for donations, people have been donating anywhere from $5 to $40, and I am taking nothing out of this for myself.”

She also hope her efforts will inspire others to come up with fundraising ideas. The contributions she’s collecting are going to the Canadian Red Cross’ Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

But London noted it’s not all about the money.

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“Even if someone doesn’t want to donate they will still have the decal on their car and when people see it they will remember the Ukrainian people,” she said, noting awareness is also important.

While this is the first time she has taken on a fundraiser, people in her community no doubt have seen what she calls her Heart Tree.

“I have a big wooden heart that my husband attached to a tree in our yard at the start of the pandemic, we painted it red with Dr. Henry’s ‘Be Kind’ message, then when the Aboriginal graves were found we painted it orange with ‘Every Child Matters’,” London explained.

“Last week we took it down and took to Wally Martin at the Princess and Pea B&B and he painted it yellow and blue and it is back in the tree.”

READ MORE: Special screening of Ukraine movie in Langley to support relief efforts

Martin has been making handpainted Ukrainian flags from used lumber and coreplast and donating them for people to display in their windows, as well.

It started as a simple project for the inn keeper.

“I started making one to put in my yard and put a picture on Facebook, and then I received lots of orders. When I painted the heart for Mary-Lou, I got the idea to make more hearts and now lots of people want them as a tribute to Ukraine, as well.”

London is hoping to see more and more decals as the days go by.

“I just received an order for 30 from a lady, and I hope this is just the start of many more orders. I would love to see them all over the community and beyond.”

Those interested in decals can contact Mary-Lou London via email at :decalsforukraine@gmail.com.

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Mary-Lou London has one of her handmade decals, depicting the Ukraine flag, on the back of her car, and is making hundreds to raise money and awareness for the nation under invasion by Russia. She also has a heart in her front yard that’s been painted the flag colours. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Mary-Lou London has one of her handmade decals, depicting the Ukraine flag, on the back of her car, and is making hundreds to raise money and awareness for the nation under invasion by Russia. She also has a heart in her front yard that’s been painted the flag colours. (Special to Langley Advance Times)