It all started with a pair of boots.

When 8th grade student Velia received a pair of boots that didn’t fit properly as a gift, she didn’t want them to go to waste. Velia decided she’d like to send the boots to a Ukrainian refugee in need, so her mother Linda agreed to find a way to send them. Through her own networks, Linda was able to reach an NGO coordinator named Cosmin, in Romania, who agreed to help direct the boots to one of the many refugees his organization was helping on a daily basis.

Inspired by Velia’s determination to do good, Linda decided to reach out the school community to see if anyone else would like to contribute anything to help out– Cosmin had shared that there was a need for sleeping bags, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, and more. While she knew the WSMF community was caring, she never could have anticipated the outpouring of support she would get in response!

Throughout the week donations came pouring in! Boxes, bags, and armfuls of blankets, coats, and more were brought in by community members who were eager to do their part. In order to process the overwhelming number of items to be sent, Linda partnered with another activist named Biker Bob who has deep connections to the Ukraine, and who was regularly sending support to refugees in Poland.

With the help of Cosmin and Biker Bob, our community was able send much needed supplies to Ukrainian Refugees in both Romania and Poland. We continue to be amazed by the compassion and generosity of our friends here at WSMF, and are grateful to Velia and Linda who started this amazing effort.