CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — In response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, businesses in Downtown State College will be participating in a month-long initiative to support local refugees as well as work in Ukraine.

The Downtown State College Improvement District (DSCID), a Neighborhood Improvement District representing over 350 participating businesses in Downtown State College, announced the launch of the Sunflower Solidarity with Ukraine initiative.

Through the Sunflower Solidarity initiative, 24 local artists, downtown merchants and other dedicated community members will support efforts of humanitarian work on the ground in Ukraine and assist families displaced by the war that are living in Centre County, according to the DSCID. Artists will create sunflower paintings on storefront windows. QR codes will be on the paintings which will link to World Central Kitchen’s website where donations can be made to help serve nearly one million meals a day.

“We stand with the people of Ukraine and want to show our solidarity in a meaningful way that will aid those displaced by the war,” Executive Director of DSCID Lee Anne Jeffries said. “Your donation to World Central Kitchen and to local refugee families living without basic needs are greatly appreciated.”

The DSCID said cash boxes can also be found in several locations downtown during the month of August, including the DSCID office, Kitchen Kaboodle, Growing Tree Toys, 3 Dots Downtown and Lion’s Pride. More information on displays and artist profiles can be found on the DSCID’s website.

In collaboration with Mid-State Literacy Council, the DSCID will host a Sunflower Solidarity Drive on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza where supply donations will be collected for local Ukrainian and other refugee families living in the area.

Gift card donations ($25 suggested) are a priority as families are settling into the area in search of basic needs and school supplies. Suggested gift cards include Rapid Transit, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Sheetz, CATA, Uber, Goodwill, Staples and grocery stores. Other items needed include food, baby items, transportation, sports equipment, new clothing and new shoes.

“We are a small community and we’re here for each other,” said Jeffries.

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The DSCID said it’s devoted to enhancing the value and vitality of its neighborhood so that it continues to be the premier business, cultural and entertainment destination in Centre County.

For more information on the Sunflower Solidarity with Ukraine initiative, visit the DSCID’s website.