GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – Kateryna Bennett, who goes by Kate, is the owner of New Way Refillery in Grand Junction. After waking up to learn of the attacks in her home country, she decided to take matters into her own hands and donate all proceeds from her store for three days to Ukraine.
Kate Bennett came over to the United States from Ukraine in 2017 and moved to Grand Junction three years ago. She always wanted to do something good for the planet. Refilleries are popular in bigger cities, but she wasn’t sure if it would be successful in a place like Grand Junction, so she started her business as a mobile refillery in June of last year and the response was overwhelming. November 1, she opened her storefront.
“I saw on the internet there’s this concept of a refillery,” said Kate. “When I saw it for the first time in February 2021 it made so much sense to me. I was like, yes we do need to bring a container to refill and not buy single use plastic every time we buy a product. We don’t need the package, we need the product.”
On February 24 she woke up to messages that her home country has been invaded.
“A lot of people were asking me before February 24 that its coming and whether my family and friends were safe there. Nobody thought that it would actually happen because we live in a modern, ethical, human rights world. Nobody believed that it would happen and I didn’t believe so that’s what I told people, that everything’s gonna be fine, but it wasn’t.”
All her family and friends are still in Ukraine and she keeps in touch with them.
“The majority of my family is in Kyiv.” They do try their best to stay safe and do what needs to be done to be safe.”
Although she was in shock, she knew she needed to help somehow.
“We woke up to this news that there was shooting and bombing and cities getting destroyed. People hiding underground, and I wanted to take action and help somehow from far away.”
So she researched and found an organization to donate to that helps pay for soldiers’ body shields and technology to help the army be more advanced. From Feb. 25 through Feb. 27 all proceeds from her store went to this nonprofit. She raised $2 thousand and 10 dollars in three days.
“I’m very thankful to people showing up and giving as much as they could, showing their compassion, their kind words, and trying to do something about it. I felt that even so far away from Ukraine, we gathered here together and it was amazing to see. This store was packed.”
Although she is no longer donating all her store proceeds to Ukraine, she does still have a donation jar in her store. All of these donations will go directly to help the people of Ukraine. She says this time she wants to donate to help the civilians who are hurt and have the money go directly to the people, not through an organization this time around. She is personally in touch with volunteers in Ukraine and is currently researching different causes to make the best impact.
If you’d like to check out Kate’s refillery, NewWay Refillery, or donate to Kate’s fund at her store, the hours are Wednesday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
The address is:
936 North Ave. Unit 102
Grand Junction, CO. 81501
The phone number is (970) 822-7476
The website is https://newwayrefillery.com
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