The conflict in Ukraine has dominated the news in recent weeks, but Glenda Moore has had the country and its people in her heart for much longer than that.
“I pretty much fell in love with Ukraine,” said Moore, who first visited the country on a mission trip in 2013. “And when I came home, I told my mom I wanted to help.”
Three years later, Amarillo-based Kind House Ukraine Bakery was born.
Unlike many nonprofits that hold glitzy galas to raise money for their causes, KHUB carries out its fundraising mission through the sale of delectable baked goods prepared in Moore’s own home kitchen.
Ironically, before founding KHUB, Moore admits she wasn’t much of a cook.
“When my husband and I got married, our first meal together was some barbecued chicken backs, a can of peas and a can of corn,” she said with a laugh.
In the early days of KHUB, Moore’s menu consisted of the cinnamon rolls her mother taught her how to bake. Now, the bakery is a well-oiled machine and serves up everything from bread to cookies to custom-made cakes for special events, regularly earning rave reviews from customers.
The process works like this: the bakery receives contributions in the form of baking supplies dropped off on Moore’s porch by local residents or deliveries sent via their Amazon wish list. Then, when customers place their orders, they can choose how much they’d like to donate. That donation goes directly from Texas to Ukraine to help people living in the war zone and orphans in need by delivering essentials such as coal, medicine and groceries and providing repairs to badly damaged homes. Moore’s counterpart and co-founder, a Ukrainian journalist, helps coordinate those efforts from overseas.
Because nearly 100 percent of the products donated cover KHUB’s baking needs, donors can rest assured that the money they’re giving is reaching the people who need it most.
“Those funds are going directly to help Ukraine,” Moore said. “They’re not funding a large administrative operation. We’re a direct nonprofit and we’re directly impacting people.”
In 2018, the first year KHUB became an official nonprofit, Moore raised enough money to heat 19 homes in the war zone of Ukraine. She doubled that number the following year and last year, the organization was able to serve 120 homes.
“We’ve grown exponentially every year,” Moore said.
Financially, KHUB brought in $200,000 last year. But as conditions continue to deteriorate in Ukraine and public awareness of the situation has become more widespread, the nonprofit was recently able to raise $50,000 within a single week.
“Our Amazon driver even ordered a cake from us,” Moore said, noting that she’s receiving 25-30 packages a day from all over the country. “He told me he saw the work that we’re doing and he wanted to be a part of it and to me, that’s the beauty of Kind House Ukraine Bakery. Everyone can be a part of it. It’s not just me - it’s our whole community that’s giving back.”
These days, the demand for KHUB’s baked goods is higher than ever. Moore left her job as an elementary school administrator two years ago to focus on the bakery full time and she’s currently looking for a storefront to house the ever-expanding operation.
“The orders just keep rolling in,” she said.
Fulfilling all those orders helps keep Moore’s mind occupied during this difficult time, and she and her cadre of volunteers have been leaning on each other for support on the days when things feel overwhelming.
“We’re working until four or five in the morning, we’re singing VBS songs together and we’re crying and laughing together,” said Moore, who used to travel to Ukraine two or three times a year. “We share our emotions with each other, our sorrow and our pain. That’s just what we do.”
With her busy schedule, Moore doesn’t have time to watch the news, but she’s in constant contact with the people she knows in Ukraine who are keeping her updated on the situation there. And when the time is right, she’s anxious to return to the country she fell in love with nearly a decade ago.
“I’m ready to go,” she said.
KHUB will be hosting its second annual 5K and fun run on April 30, 2022. For sponsorship information or to sign up as a volunteer or participant, visit the Kind House Facebook page.
Donations and orders can be made by visiting the KHUB website.
Products needed at KHUB are: powdered sugar, salted butter, evaporated milk, pecans, chocolate chips, large foil, 10x10x6 cake boxes, 19x14x4 cake boxes and 10 inch cake rounds.