Kyiv-born Colwood woman makes perogies to help Ukraine

It has been hard standing by while her friends and family suffered in Ukraine.

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Colwood’s Lia Butler works full-time for the government. She has a four-year-old child, another who turns two on Sunday, and is expecting her third of her in a few months. With the rest of her time, the 31-year-old makes perogies to raise money for her native Ukraine.

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Half of the proceeds go to a non-profit that outfits the military, half to her step-brother and a childhood friend who distributes cash to those they find in need of her hometown, Kyiv.

So far, Butler and her mother, Alla Pavlihkin, have turned out more than 1,000 perogies, raising more than $2,000. There’s no end in sight to orders from Victorians who have been snapping them up, paying $10 for a bag of about a dozen.

The work makes Butler happy. “I feel like I’m finally physically doing something,” she said Wednesday. That’s important to her, because it has been hard standing by de ella while her friends and family de ella suffered in Ukraine. She gave money to the Red Cross right after the invasion, but then found herself wondering “Now what?”

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So, the perogy effort began. Butler has been making them non-stop, both meat and vegetarian versions. She sells them largely through her Facebook page, She raised when a woman from the Ukrainian Cultural Center brought her a batch of dough on the weekend, saving her time.

Butler has lived in Victoria since she was six, coming here with her family after a couple of years in Israel. “Every time we moved, it was due to civil unrest,” she says.

She has always kept close ties to Kyiv, though, last visiting the capital in 2019. Her maternal grandmother is there, as are two uncles, their wives, their children.

That makes the war way too close to home for Butler.

She speaks to cousins ​​and friends in Kyiv, people her own age, who tell her about not being able to get to shelters and having to hide out in their bathrooms instead.

“It’s absolutely surreal.”

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