(Left) Nora Conlin (16), Iris Conlin (13), and Desmond Conlin (11), of Boothbay, collect donations for Maine for Ukraine. Photo contributed by Robert Conlin

A Midcoast family has teamed up with local businesses to raise funds for their humanitarian organization, Maine for Ukraine, Seeds of Hope.

Robert Conlin and his three children, Nora (16), Iris (13), and Desmond (11) launched Maine for Ukraine, Seeds of Hope after Russia invaded Ukraine nearly three months ago. The family is distributing sunflower seeds, with proceeds going toward Ukraine relief efforts.

Ukraine’s national flower is the sunflower, and Seeds of Hope is a way of connecting Mainers to Ukraine and showing we care, said Robert Conlin.

Robert Conlin said his family wanted to do this together because they saw how many kids and families were displaced in Ukraine.

“It’s all over the news. It’s hard not to want to do something,” said Nora Conlin.

Iris Conlin designed the Seeds of Hope logo, while Nora Conlin made the labels, and Desmond helped his father put together the donation boxes. With a suggested $10 donation, each donor will receive a packet of Maine-bred sunflower seeds to plant.


Logo created by Iris Conlin of Boothbay. Photo contributed by Robert Conlin

All proceeds raised will be sent to the Razom Ukraine organization.

With over 120,000 donors and volunteers, Razom Ukraine provides humanitarian war relief and recovery, evacuations for vulnerable populations, while striving to strengthen Ukraine’s relationship with the U.S.

The seeds and donation boxes can be found on store counters at Boothbay Harbor House of Pizza, Nathan’s Pharmacy in Boothbay Harbor, Ames True Value Hardware in Wiscasset, Now You’re Cooking in Bath, Mae’s Cafe and Bakery in Bath, Morning Glory Natural Foods in Brunswick and Big Top Deli in Brunswick.

Robert Conlin said they have raised nearly $1,000 and will continue fundraising until the sunflower planting season ends in early June. Sunflowers typically bloom throughout the summer months, all the way into October, he said.

To demonstrate solidarity for victims of war in Ukraine, the Conlin family is asking supporters to send photos of their sunflowers in bloom, to their Instagram account, Maine for Ukraine.

For more information on Razom Ukraine, visit www.razomforukraine.org/

(Left to right) Iris Conlin (13), Desmond Conlin (11), Nora Conlin (16), and Robert Conlin, of Midcoast Maine gather donations at Big Top Deli in Brunswick. Photo by Maria Skillings / Times Record


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