Fri, Apr 22, 2022 9:34 AM
A Ukrainian boy who crossed the border alone into Slovakia amid Russia’s invasion inspired two Renwick school students to action.
The year six students, Alexis McLennan and Rebecca Lees, decided to organise a school-wide fundraiser in support of children displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The pair organised a blue and yellow dress up day, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.
“We had to come up with a plan,” says Rebecca. “We wanted it to be as big as possible.”
“I was looking at this little boy on tv – on the news – his name was Hassan. I was inspired and felt relly sorry for him,” she says. “I asked if Alexis wanted to do a fundraiser.”
They spoke to Renwick School principal Michelle Spencer, who backed the idea.
“They’re wanting to make a difference right now,” Michelle says.
“It’s important we accommodate those wishes. They’re going to be our future leaders and we need to nurture that. The curiosity, desire and belief in yourself.”
Alexis says they want to encourage people to open their heart to people suffering.
“We’re so fortunate here. They don’t have much – it’s good to donate, she says.
Alexis says they raised much more than the $200 they were expecting.
More than $600 was handed over to national Red Cross representatives last week.
Red Cross national humanitarian development manager Peter Nii Barnor Saba says all support goes to the Ukraine Red Cross and is distributed for welfare or support, depending on the need.
Red Cross humanitarian development engagement manager Jacky Martin says the donations make a difference.
“This [money] is tagged for kids, so that’s where it will go.”
“We haven’t widely publicised that we’re fundraising for Ukraine, so to receive a message from two young girls in Blenheim – it’s wow.”