Valders students collect items and write letters for Ukrainians

It became a district-wide effort designing posters, making cards, and collecting supplies
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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VALDERS, Wis. (WBAY) - In less than a week, K-12 students at Valders schools began a donation drive for those ravaged by the war in Ukraine, eventually collecting a room-filled of supplies.

“Putting this drive together made me a better person I feel like, just because I contributed to knowing that these people have stuff to survive,” Valders High School Senior Taylor Hammel said.

Madison Schwartz, another senior, also helped in organizing the drive. “I got a message on a Friday saying that we were starting this on Monday. So, we quickly put a bunch of kids together, made posters. Made announcements,” Schwartz said.

To aid the Ukrainians was truly a district-wide effort. Students from kindergarten to 5th grade crafted hand-made cards and wrote messages in them. Students in a graphics design class created posters that hung around the school’s building.

“As we got more information over the week...some of the students reconfigured their designs so it can have more info on it,” Tim Woodcock, a graphics design teacher, said.

Images of the war on social media have contributed to kids becoming more engaged, according to history teacher Tyler Martell.

“The students are so connected to what’s going on in the world today through TikTok, Snapchat and other social media. They ask me questions and that can take the first 10, 20 minutes of class,” Martell said.

Senior Luke Risse says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made him more aware of the benefits of living in a democratic society.

“Living in America and being able to experience all the things that America also comes with a downside because we realize how much other people don’t have,” Risse said.

Valders has a student population of about a thousand, yet the donation drive has shown how generous the community can be.

“Maybe give up a meal from a fast-food restaurant in order to purchase cut green beans to send abroad, it’s awesome,” Valders math teacher Rachel Lensmire said.

A teacher will drop off the items to Green Bay on Friday, and then the donation will travel to Poland and Ukraine. Students hope this can ease the weary souls of Ukrainians.

“No matter like who you are, you can make a difference in someone else’s life whether you see the difference or not,” Ellie Vertz, a senior, said.

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