Prince George’s wood products used to fund Ukraine war

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Laurie Cook crafts tables, benches, beds and cutting boards from wooden planks and exchanges them for donations to help fund the Ukrainian army’s war against Russia.

Laurie Cook wants to help Ukraine win its war with Russia.

In March 2022, he began trading wooden products he made at his Prince George home for donations to be sent directly to Ukraine as a war fund.

He turns wood into a weapon.

In his basement workshop, the 74-year-old Prince George family doctor makes dining tables, benches, cutting boards, coffee tables, charcuterie serving boards and bed frames, all of which are sold for donations, which then go to the Ukrainian government’s fundraising website United24.

“The money goes directly to Ukraine and goes to the troops,” Cook said. “You can give to Canadian and Ukrainian charities, and they’ll give you a nice tax deduction, and they’ll send blankets and water bottles to Zelensky. Russians don’t mind water bottles and blankets, so I’m sending my money to a website called U-24.”

of Website Give donor countries the choice of providing humanitarian, reconstruction, or military assistance.

Since the site launched on May 5, 2022, it has raised more than $528 million.

Cook and his wife, Linda, are well known in the community for their involvement with local Nordic ski and cycling clubs, and Cook works as a physician at UHNBC. They asked friends and colleagues to donate to the effort, but they’ve run out of money and it’s time to expand their target market.

“The market is saturated and we don’t have anything more to buy so we need help,” Cook said.

He just wants to spread the word about his project and encourage more people to donate and own a piece of their work.The table top and cutting board are made from a single piece of wood, with the edges left unfinished to preserve the natural shape of the wood from which each piece was cut.

“Everything I make is made from Douglas fir or local birch and it’s all branded ‘Slava Ukraine,’” Cook said.

“You can definitely go to Walmart and get it cheaper, but people have to understand that you’re going to pay a little extra for something that’s made here because it takes time to make.”

He offers cutting boards, some with intricate inlays and made from exotic hardwoods, for $200 to $300, coffee tables for $500 to $750, benches for about $600, bed frames for $2,000 and a dining table with two benches for $4,000.

Of course, if anyone wants to donate more than the requested amount, Cook is sure to accommodate.

He launched the project in March 2022, about a month after the invasion began, and Prince George welcomed its first Ukrainian refugees shortly thereafter.

“They’re fighting me. Putin is unstoppable,” Cook said.

“I know there are nasty things going on in many parts of the world, but Russia is right on Europe’s doorstep.”

To inquire about Cook’s woodworking projects [email protected].

CIBC Bank’s Spruceland branch is transferring donations to Ukraine free of charge.

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