EASTPORT — The Daughters of Isabella Circle #871 of St. Joseph Church in Eastport wanted to help the innocent in Ukraine but like many, weren’t sure what they could do.

“An idea was brought forward by member Dawn Noonan,” said Kathy Lawrence, vice regent of the circle. “And it was a good one!”

The making and selling of handmade chocolate bunnies and roses as a fundraiser, with all of the proceeds going to Catholic Relief Services’ ongoing efforts to assist those in need in Ukraine.

The circle, with a membership of 24 women, split the work from creating the bunnies, wrapping them, and selling them at R & M IGA on Washington Street. 

“Our little group raised over $1,000,” said Lawrence. “We are located in one of the poorest areas in Maine, yet people were just so generous in this cause. At one point, people were passing us money so fast that it was difficult to keep track.”

Many people made donations without even taking candy.

“It was a humbling experience,” said Lawrence. “I never dreamed that it would be this successful. We are very thankful for the generosity of the many who came out and supported this effort.”

The Daughters of Isabella is one of the largest Catholic women’s organizations, with a membership of over 30,000. Members encourage each other’s total development and foster growth of every aspect of life, including spiritual, social, and charitable.

Both the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are the pope’s charities, and Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, are working to help the Ukrainian people. To offer support or learn more, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/content/support-people-ukraine.