St. Nicholas Backpacks for Ukraine
St. Nicholas Backpacks for Ukraine: Children Helping Children
Mercy Montessori was presented with an amazing opportunity (and an amazing challenge!), to act as servant leaders and help a school of 300 children in the Ukraine.
Here was the mission: The organization USA With Ukraine had a request for filled backpacks for a school in Ukraine of 300 students.
"We are asking you to help us make a holiday for our children, children who are witnesses of a terrible war, in which you will all create a Christmas miracle, a Christmas fairy tale together. Your good thoughts, your good deeds will bring joy to our children."
The majority of children have school in a church basement. The shelter is where they stay for air raids, as well as attend school. Most of these children have lost their homes; many have lost family members. The priests, sisters and volunteers there are hoping to provide each of these displaced, internal refugees with a backpack full of happiness! They are in desperate need of school supplies and other items to cheer the children.
Teachers Jenny Duncan and Marybeth Flaspohler accepted the request to help. Students in their classes helped share the mission and news quickly spread through the entire school with the message, "if every child helps just one child, we can meet our goal!" Through the generosity of our school community, we surpassed our goal and were able to provide 322 backpacks filled with school supplies, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, pajamas, arts and crafts supplies, books, toys, and more! Helping us to the finish line was the Flying Pig Marathon, who generously gifted extra backpacks from their event to help us reach our goal. The Ukrainian students will receive the gifts on St. Nick's Day (Dec 6), along with a hand drawn card in each backpack from our students. We are hoping to bring some cheer to these students as they exist in this war torn area.
Here is a video of the 27 boxes of backpacks ready to be shipped to the Ukrainian students in time for St. Nick's Day!