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Upper School Organizations Unite to Support Ukraine

Upper School Organizations Unite to Support Ukraine
Tutt Stapp-McKiernan

Wakefield's two largest Upper School student organizations, the Community Council and the Interact service club, have joined together in what they hope will be a fundraiser with some real impact on a most worthy cause: support for the besieged citizens of Ukraine.

Student leaders from the two groups made a special presentation at Upper School assembly on Monday, April 25, to raise awareness of the new initiative. Their guest speaker was Wakefield's Ukrainian-born JK teacher, Mrs. Nataly Cuny, who gave a wrenching account of what is happening in her homeland. Her knowledge of the situation on the ground in Ukraine is drawn from the first-hand accounts she is receiving from her family in the capital city of Kyiv, where Mrs. Cuny grew up and lived until moving to the United States after she graduated from college. Hearing her describe the hardships and the fear her family are living with, and the anxiety that she is experiencing for them, made the news stories about the war very real.

After Mrs. Cuny's talk, junior Callie Rector of the Interact Club explained the two groups' joint three-prong fundraising for the week: they will be selling "Support Ukraine" jelly bracelets, as well as friendship bracelets hand-made by students; and they will be offering fresh grilled cheese sandwiches at lunchtime on Wednesday and Thursday.

Their presentation ended with an emotional appeal to action from Community Council member Patrick Sharp, who reminded students of how fortunate they are--unlike kids just like themselves in Ukraine-- to live in a country not at war on its own soil, to go to school freely, and to not be asked to step forward and take up arms to defend their homes. "If you receive something, you should give something back," he said. "I am sure all of you have received something, so I hope all of you can haul in some money to help those less fortunate in Ukraine."

As the students were preparing to end their event, Director of Student Activities Lisa Winick came forward with the surprise announcement that an anonymous donor in attendance at the assembly had already offered to purchase a bracelet for every Upper School student in support of the fundraiser. 

This generous offer should not discourage Upper School students from making their own purchases, though! Bracelets look very stylish in multiples. :)  Please consider buying both types of bracelets this week, for yourself, your family, friends at other schools...anyone you know!

Wakefield's "Support Ukraine" jelly bracelets can be purchased by the Wakefield community for $5 online at the Owls' Outlet. Handmade friendship bracelets can be purchased for $5, cash only, at Upper School lunch every day this week. All bracelet proceeds will go to support Ukrainians affected by the war through Saint Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Metropolitan Washington, DC.

Grilled cheese sandwiches will be $2 each and will be for sale on Wednesday and Thursday during Upper School lunch. All grilled cheese proceeds will go to the World Food Kitchen, an organization working through local restaurants to provide meals to the displaced and the hungry of Ukraine.

For further information, contact Interact advisor John Pennisi or Community Council co-advisor Lisa Winick.