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.”
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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.
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.
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.
“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.”