Students form organization dedicated to helping the country of Ukraine.
BY CARLY WITT, ’23. PHOTO BY HELOISE DUTEL, ’22. GRAPHIC BY LUCY O’BRIEN ’22.
The Thursday 7th period bell rings, signaling the start of office hours. Students scramble to visit teachers, study on Golden Bear Boulevard or attend club meetings. Among the clubs meeting is UA for Ukraine, finding their place in the northern common spaces on the first floor.
The club was created after students in Kim Brown’s 7th period Beyond Tolerance class heard about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The students decided they wanted to get involved and help make a difference for Ukrainians.
Juniors Ayva Lasley and Hanna Andersson are two of the club’s members. They are working on the organization’s fundraisers, running their social media, and presenting information and updates at the meetings.
“We thought it would be like a good chance to get involved in the community and make an impact with something that’s exactly what we’re learning about in class right now,” Andersson said.
UA for Ukraine has many exciting activities and fundraisers planned for the future. They recently went on visits to the UA elementary schools to share information about the war and educate younger students on their fundraisers. The group is hoping to inspire elementary school students to also organize a fundraiser, and the club could combine the earnings for both fundraisers to donate to Ukraine.
“We want to promote empathy and awareness about the war by presenting an age appropriate slideshow explaining what is happening in Ukraine. They were really cute and really wanted to help Ukraine after learning about the war,” junior Chloe Friedman, another member, said.
“We felt like this was something that the whole community could get involved in, not just the high school,” Lasley said.
The group decided to hold meetings open to the entire school so that other students could get involved and join the cause, not just those in their class. Their weekly meetings are a time to regroup and talk about the future plans for the organization and fundraisers. Members prepare slideshows and information to share at the meetings.
“We create a slideshow basically covering everything for that week and things that are going to happen in the future,” Lasley said.
The club has many fundraisers planned including a bake sale, t-shirt sale and a drink collaboration with UA Rise. All proceeds from all fundraisers will go to Americares—a crisis organization that is currently helping aid Ukraine. Americares provides access to medicine and healthcare for those in need.
UA for Ukraine is also collaborating with other clubs and organizations at the high school, such as Ambassadors for Change.
“Ambassadors for Change, I think, is trying to make pins that have a blue and yellow ribbon on them. So if you can’t buy t-shirts, you can get one of those for free, and it’s still a way for you to show your support,” Andersson said.
In an attempt to gain more members and expand their reach, the club members are using social media, specifically Instagram.
“Follow us on Instagram, @uaforukraine, for more information about our upcoming events and to raise awareness,” Lasley said.
The members are committed to helping the crisis in Ukraine and are constantly coming up with a variety of ways, besides monetary donations, to get the community involved.
“We are trying to promote peace, healing and empathy through our work.” Friedman said.