Like the rest of us, Bebette Smith watches the heartbreaking news coverage of Ukrainian citizens forced to flee their country. The chocolatier wanted to find a way to help these refugees, particularly those fleeing to her native country of Belgium.
Smith, the owner of La Bonbonniere Authentic Belgian Chocolates, 231 Furys Ferry Road, Suite 206B in Augusta, developed a sunflower chocolate box to honor the refugees. The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower.
“I just so happened to have a sunflower mold,” Smith said.
For every box a customer buys, she will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to a humanitarian relief organization called King Baudouin Foundation United States. The New York-based foundation connects U.S. donors to overseas charities.
The organization, named for Belgium’s king who ruled from 1951-to 93, is currently helping Ukrainian refugees find homes and obtain textbooks for their children. More than 25,000 of these refugees are currently in Belgium.
The 18-piece assorted boxes sell for $35, and even the box is made of chocolate. Smith wraps each one in blue and yellow ribbons because those are the colors of Ukraine’s flag. She started selling them last week, and as of Tuesday, April 12, she had already sold seven.
“I hope to raise $1,500, which would be about 43 boxes,” Smith said. “That would be a great donation.”
Smith grew up in Belgium and moved to Augusta when her husband was stationed at Fort Gordon. She learned the art of making chocolate at a school in Belgium.
“Belgium is a very welcoming country; Belgium is in my heart,” she said.
For more information about the foundation, visit kbfus.org.