Edmonton Grade 3 students spearhead fundraiser for Ukraine

Drew Gravia, a Grade 3 student at David Thomas King School, poses with pins he made to fundraise for Ukraine refugees. Global News

Students at Edmonton’s David Thomas King School have worked to raise thousands of dollars for Ukraine relief as part of an entrepreneurial project.

As part of a “We Support Ukraine” project, students have been handmaking pins in Ukraine’s national colours and selling them along with packets of sunflower seeds — Ukraine’s national flower.

They raised a total of $5,295.80, which will be going to the Humanitarian Coalition.

“Once (students) know that the work they do has meaning, they automatically are very enthusiastic about it,” said Grade 3 teacher Cindy Lam.

An image of homemade pins in Ukraine's national colours, made by Edmonton Grade 3 students.
Students from David Thomas King School made homemade pins in Ukraine’s national colours as part of a fundraiser. Global News

Lam said the idea was brought up by the students themselves after they learned more about the conflict.

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“One of the skills they really worked on is just having empathy for others,” she said. “Working together as global citizens and collaborating with all the students in the classroom — but also with the school and with our local community raising money for other people in the world.”

Read more: Edmontonians get creative to support Ukrainian aid efforts

Emaan Ahsan, a Grade 3 student in Edmonton, poses with pins she made to help raise money for Ukraine. Global News

“If we send over money for the Ukraine, then that can help them buy food and water and things to survive,” said Kenadi Johnson, one of the Grade 3 students participating.

“I really want to help,” she said. “Because I think it makes me feel good when I know I’m helping another person.”

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The students initially aimed for $1,000 raised, but more support kept pouring in.

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Drew Gravia, another Grade 3 student at the school, said he believes they were able to raise so much because many in Canada have connections to Ukraine.

“I’m pretty worried because I’m part Ukrainian too,” he said. “I believe that Ukraine can do this, if we try and we help.

“If everybody has a chance (to), then you should help Ukraine if you can.”

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Students were able to learn a variety of skills; including accounting, marketing, logistics and production. Edmonton companies Creative Hive and Kemba Designs also worked with the students to give tips and support.

Lam says the project was successful in raising money but that she believes the lessons learned were the most important aspect.

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“(The students) can recognize that they have a voice and that they have the power to make a difference in the world,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are but you can do something on your own and you can make a difference.”

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