Fundraising hope

Students plan fundraisers to help humanitarian crisis 



Iris Chen, Aditi Halpe, and Hannah Prokup introduce the fundraising efforts for Ukraine at the student-led International Day assembly on March 24.

Jillian Thomas

On February 24, 2022, the Russian military launched their invasion into Ukraine, escalating a conflict that has been brewing for years even further. The BBC reported in early May that almost 6 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine since the initial invasion. In the wake of this escalation, people worldwide were unsure how to help or react. With Ukraine almost 5,500 miles away, it seemed as if there was no way to help. However, students Aditi Halpe, Hannah Prokup, and Iris Cheng, among others, took charge to raise awareness and funds for Ukraine and UNICEF Ukraine. 

“We have a great life here, and to think that children in Ukraine are dying or losing their parents because of a conflict that had nothing to do with them is heartbreaking,” Prokup said. 

The students leading the Ukraine fundraisers drew ideas from clubs’ past fundraisers and activities. 

“We were inspired by earlier fundraisers at the school like GSA’s candy grams,” Prokup said. 

They realized that food always drew in a large crowd to raise money, so they began selling candy inside Easter eggs for 3 dollars each before spring break. 

While this initiative was largely student-led, faculty advisor Ms. Zanoni was there to help along the way. 

“The students met with me, however it was very student led and the students did the great majority of the work,” Zanoni said.“I was the adult who helped with logistics and planning, but they were the heart and soul behind the fundraisers.” 

She notes that these students were driven by the knowledge that there were people just like them, living in the midst of this conflict. 

“The students found me after school and had the idea to show compassion and support to children just like them, but who live in Ukraine and are experiencing such tragedy,” she said. 

While the egg fundraiser became the most widely popular and well-known, Zanoni explains that more fundraisers were planned to help the cause. 

“Efforts have already continued. We have had several other mini fundraisers and are planning more. We have also involved many other clubs and activities to assist in raising money for a larger end goal,” she said. 

Other clubs have focused their fundraising efforts on this cause, with money from Rainbow Dance tickets and the Dumpling Sale going to Ukraine. 

Zanoni is impressed by the students’ compassion and commitment. 

“I could not be more proud of our students for their empathy,” she said. 

With the prospective continued efforts of not only the students who ran the egg fundraiser, but other clubs, the support for the Ukrainian people still has momentum here at Haven. The Ukraine fundraisers represent the good that can come out of a horrible situation when students take initiative.