Yumi, the natural kids nutrition company, along with Kristen Bell are urgently sending the message there is still a war in Ukraine.
The start of the invasion by Russia to its neighboring nation Ukraine in February of this year brought global condemnation towards the invaders. While the war has caused international outrage and usurped media airtime at its onset, in recent weeks the conversation around the war has slowed. However, this dying down of attention hasn’t stopped the founders of Yumi, Evelyn Rusli and Angela Sutherland, from reminding the public there is still a crisis in Ukraine whose citizens continue to be in dire need of support.
The founders together created a children’s book called From Seeds Come Sunflowers, a story to help the company’s community of parents talk to their children about war which has been narrated by Bell to help bring attention to the cause.
“When the time came to find the right voice for the book, we immediately thought of Kristen, who is such an inspiring mother, philanthropist, and founder and whose voice naturally exudes warmth and authenticity. Anyone who is a fan of Frozen, knows Kristen’s voice has an unmatched quality— when you hear her, a scary world doesn’t feel so scary. It’s exactly what children need. It’s exactly what the project needed. Kristen was a dream to work with and so genuinely happy to lend her voice for a good cause,” explains Rusli.
The book is a part of a larger global initiative (in which Yumi is involved) called Operation Sunflower which is a consortium of companies across logistics, technology and consumer goods with the goal to bring essential aid to Ukrainian families who are affected by the conflict.
While Yumi has played a large role in the formation of Operation Sunflower by bringing on more than a dozen direct to consumer brands, the project came to fruition through the leadership of Frazer Kinsley, the logistics expert behind Kinsley Partners and an angel investor. Together with Geodis and ShipBob, leaders in the world of global transport who committed to assistance with freight and freight costs, Operation Sunflower is now one of the only wholly-civilian supply lines bringing aid directly into Ukraine from the Polish border. They are accomplishing this through the Ukraine World Congress, a United Nations recognized NGO, that is coordinating the final mile delivery to families in Ukraine.
“Operation Sunflower brings essential aid such as shelf-stable food, medical supplies, and clothing to families affected by the conflict in Ukraine. Already more than $1.5 million in donations from over 40 partners have been sent to Ukraine,” says Rusli. “While we couldn’t provide ships or planes, we recruited friends in the consumer world, bringing on several key donation partners, including Hello Bello, ThirdLove and This Saves Lives.”
This is not the first time Yumi has embarked on a book as a solution for communicating difficult topics to children. Prior to From Seeds Come Sunflowers, they created the very well-received Rainbows in Windows to explain the pandemic to children which was very well-received. Based on its success, From Seeds Come Sunflowers was created to help parents with the struggle of speaking to kids about the complicated topic of of war.
“We, like so many others, are hoping for a speedy resolution and safety for everyone,” says Rusli. “While news cycles churn and attention capital is scarce, we hope the world continues to support families in Ukraine and other war torn regions, and those that have been displaced.”