SAN ANTONIO – Images of devastation in Ukraine, that for most San Antonians are a world away, hit especially close to home for Anna Afanasieva.
The native of the war-torn eastern European country has been keeping a close eye on the events unfolding in her homeland.
“Everybody’s there. All my friends and my family are there,” she said. “It’s really hard for me to watch everything from the distance without being able to affect it in any way.”
She decided to channel those helpless feelings, though, into an effort to help.
As co-owner of Laika Cheesecake and Espresso, Afanasieva decided to donate all of Saturday’s proceeds from the Alamo Heights business to support the people of Ukraine.
Customers quickly got behind the effort, standing in long lines for a chance to chip in.
“For the Ukranian nation, just stay strong. Just keep pulling together as one nation,” said Chris Medellin, one of hundreds of people who showed up.
On Saturday evening, Afanasieva said she did not yet have an exact count when it came to sales for the day.
However, the turnout far exceeded anything she was expecting because they advertised the event only using social media.
She said customers began lining up as early as 9 a .m., and the line never let up.
Her staff, she said, had been working non-stop.
“I’m very, very grateful for all the support that we received,” Afanasieva said. “I expected that people would come and support but not in these quantities, honestly.”
Aganasieva suggested that anyone who wants to help the effort going forward should donate to the cause.