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Montreal schools band together to collect items for Ukrainian refugees

Click to play video: 'West Island schools do their part to help victims of war in Ukraine' West Island schools do their part to help victims of war in Ukraine
WATCH: Medical supplies, toiletries, non-perishable food items are among the essential items being collected at Beurling Academy and Lakeside Academy these days. Organizers of the effort to help the people of Ukraine say the generosity they are experiencing is heartwarming. Global’s Felicia Parrillo has the details. – Mar 17, 2022

It’s getting crowded at Beurling Academy in Verdun, Que.

Their office and conference room are filled with donations pouring in from students, staff and the community for Ukrainian refugees.

“We thought we’d have a small little project and now we’ve got so many people involved,” said Jane Preston, Beurling Academy’s vice-principal. “It’s just heartwarming.”

READ MORE: Montrealers rallying to raise money for Ukraine

It all started with an idea Preston had.

While she was at home during March break, she said she was watching the news and decided she wanted to do something to help. She and her husband, who works at Lakeside Academy in Lachine, decided to launch a joint venture.

“We sent flyers out through social media, we have collections at both schools for medical supplies, toiletries and non-perishable foods,” she said.

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READ MORE: How Montrealers are trying to help victims of war in Ukraine

Soon, staff and students also got involved.

Employees take turns staying after school from 3-5:30 p.m. to receive outside donations.

Click to play video: 'Montrealers march in support of Ukraine' Montrealers march in support of Ukraine
Montrealers march in support of Ukraine – Mar 13, 2022

There are also other initiatives.

Students from the school’s leadership program, who sometimes spend their lunches selling frozen yogurt for a project, have decided that the funds raised from now on will go toward donations for Ukrainian refugees.

“It’s really a sad situation. I hope it gets better and by doing this – I hope it helps a bit,” said Grade 9 student Muriel Lavergne.

READ MORE: West Island College student collecting goods to help Ukrainians

Preston said she wanted to get her school involved to show students that it’s important to have empathy, even for those they don’t know.

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“I think it’s a good teaching tool for the students to understand that we need to think beyond just our school community and our city community,” she said. “There are people in need – in some ways in more need than we are.”

All of the donations collected will be sent to the Ukrainian Catholic church in Montreal.

A bus will pick up donations at Beurling and Lakeside next Friday. The school says they are still in need of toiletries, medical supplies and non-perishable food items.

“Anything that can help is very important. Anything small to help out,” said Grade 9 student Madison Thomas.

“People are dying, people are losing their homes and it’s really tragic and sad, and we should do anything we can to help them.”

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