GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan bakery is joining a global effort to raise money for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

The fundraiser is called Hamantashen for Ukraine and it coincides with the Jewish holiday Purim, which began Wednesday night.

Bakeries have been selling the traditional Jewish pastry to raise money for the nonprofit Polish Humanitarian Action.

David Brown, an American of Ukrainian heritage, baked the cookies in partnership with The Cottage Bagel, a small home-based bakery in Grand Rapids.     

“When I heard that there was an opportunity just to bake them and share them, I jumped on that,” Brown said.

Brown helped the bakery make 150 of the pastry that symbolizes triumph over evil. 

“Haman is kind of the villain of the story and traditionally he had a three-pointed hat,” Brown said. “The feast of Purim is just a remembrance and celebration of what happened in fifth century B.C. when Queen Esther, who was Jewish, basically thwarted a plan from Haman, the advisor to the king … to destroy all the Jewish people who were refusing to bow down and worship him.”

Angela Ochoa, the co-owner of the bakery, says they saw other bakeries joining in on the effort and brought in Brown to help their business get involved.

“Hamantashen was a specific food that kind of had a parallel storyline to what was going on with Ukraine,” Ochoa said. “There’s a desperate need for more money for immediate aid right now.”

The bakery made 150 cookies in apricot and poppy seed with Brown lending his time and expertise. 

“It was just a fun and exciting opportunity to do something that is relatively easy just raise a little bit of money for the refugees,” Brown said.

The Cottage Bagel raised $470 from its fundraiser and customer donations. 

For more information on the fundraising effort, visit the Hamantashen for Ukraine website.