SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sunflowers are sprouting up on people's lapels in one area of Santa Barbara.
Small, yellow and brown crocheted flowers, the symbol of peace and unity for Ukraine, handmade by a group of residents at the Samarkand Retirement Community.
"I was so upset when the war started, as we all were, and I thought, 'Well, I can't go over there and do anything so, what can I do? Well, I can crochet,'" said Jeri Moulder.
She and a group of ladies got to work with yarn, ribbons, glue guns and safety pins, then set up a donation jar.
Their goal was to raise $3,000.00 for Direct Relief's efforts in the war-torn region.
"We probably made about 150 pins. We raised $8,127 dollars! I was stunned, I was just totally blown away. Samarkand rocks," Moulder said with a laugh.
The group presented the check in-person to Direct Relief on Tuesday.
"Samarkand has hearts as BIG as the giant sunflowers on State Street and raised enough sunflower donations to fill a whole garden," said Jodi Turley, Samarkand's Activities Coordinator.
Moulder, who sowed the seeds for the project and even crocheted special sunflower earrings, said the crafts are no longer available; she's out of sunflower-making energy, for now.
However, Moulder urged the community to make donations to the non-profit humanitarian organization.