San Gabriel Valley hopes to help people of Ukraine heal with unique art and power of prayer

An antique shop in Arcadia and a church in Monrovia are showing their support for Ukraine by painting furniture and praying.
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Vintage Treasures and Antiques in Arcadia has been around for eight years, and throughout the pandemic, community members helped support the shop to keep it open.

Now, owner Raquel McLaughlin feels like it's only right to show support to those in the community who are being affected by what's happening in Ukraine.

McLauglin painted furniture pieces in Ukrainian flag colors that are sitting outside her shop on Foothill Boulevard.

"So many of us right now feel completely helpless and we're just kind of torn between, 'What do we do for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters out there?'" she said.

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Mclaughlin said there's been a big show of support with people praying and cars honking and stopping by. She even made a Facebook post and prayer chain for a Ukrainian customer that lives in Monrovia.

"My customer from Ukraine says, 'My parents are stuck in Odessa,' and I just asked him, 'Do you mind? I want to take your photo and create a prayer chain for you, your wife and your parents that are stuck,'" said McLaughlin.

Monrovia has also shown its support for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, outside of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, painted chairs and a Ukrainian flag are displayed along California Avenue.

A church member painted the chairs.

"Given the events going on in the world, we thought it was important to lift the people of Ukraine up in prayer at this point, and also to keep that awareness in our hearts so we hold ourselves accountable for how we respond," said Neil Tadken, a priest at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

People even gathered together to pray around the painted chairs.

For a small business owner and church, these actions are a step forward in making everyone feel welcome and loved.

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