West Linn High School student groups raise over $2,000 for Ukraine relief
Chase Harmon was just finishing his homework on Thursday, Feb. 24, when he noticed his social media feed was swarmed with breaking news.
Russia had invaded Ukraine, the tweets said.
"I was completely shocked and I was glued to the TV for the next three days. I just kept thinking: 'I feel so small and there's nothing that I can do to help them,'" Harmon said. "But then I thought about it and was like: 'I might as well try to help even if I only make a super small dent.'"
During the week of March 14 to 18, two student groups at West Linn High School held separate fundraisers to raise money for Ukrainians who are currently under attack from Russia. One group, the Math Honors Society, hosted a two-day fundraiser where students donated money to nominate a staff member to be "pied" in the face.
Harmon, a senior at WLHS, is one of the officers for the society. Led by Harmon, Kyle Jensen and Jeffrey Fang, the team organized the entire event within a week. Fang even coded a website within a day to livestream the donations as they came in.
"The other officers and I got together and brainstormed something for Pi Day, which is March 14. So the top three teachers who receive the most donations are going to get 'pied' in the face. It's just something fun that students can get into with a little bit of a competition aspect. But it is also helping people," said Harmon.
The math club raised $1,158, and all of the proceeds will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
"We went with the Red Cross because it's directly involved with humanitarian assistance for the refugees or the (people) displaced by the Russian invasion. We also chose it because it's an international organization and the money that we donate won't be compromised, no matter what happens with the invasion. So there's no risk of it falling into the wrong hands," Harmon said.
Down the hall from the Math Honors Society, members Jessika Conner and Ava Wu stood at a table selling cookies in the middle of a busy library. The students are co-presidents of the West Linn High Feminist Club and sold cookies for $3 each during their school's lunch hour for a week.
All they money they raised will go toward providing relief to citizens of Ukraine.
"Once I became aware of what was happening (in Ukraine), I texted my co-president and said: 'I feel like we have to do something about this,' because we have the resources to do something," Conner said. "We texted back and forth figuring out how to get people involved and were like, 'Everyone loves cookies.'"
The club raised $1,123, and all of the money was donated to the Stand with Ukraine fund, which is a GoFundMe organized by actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. The funding will go toward refugee and humanitarian aid efforts.
"Although it's not super pertinent to feminism, women and children are disproportionately affected as refugees. So that's why we're specifically going to donate to refugees, because that kind of fits more with the theme of our club," Conner said. "It's important to remind people that although it might not be impacting us directly, if they can do anything to help, they should. It is our responsibility as global citizens to do what we can to help others."
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