An initiative led by a staff member at Sands Secondary School has raised nearly $3,000 to help a family fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Kristie Watters, a child and youth care worker at the North Delta school, organized a pierogi fundraiser after hearing that a fellow staff member’s sister had fled Ukraine with her children and was en route to Canada.
A letter about the fundraiser was shared with families at the school and word soon spread onto a local Facebook community page, leading to orders coming in from staff, students and the wider community.
In a short time, all 250 one-dozen orders of pierogies were pre-sold — 3,750 of the dumplings in all. Watters applied for and received a microgrant from the United Way’s Local Love Fund to purchase supplies to make the pierogies.
Last week, more than 100 volunteers met on three consecutive afternoons and evenings to set up a pierogi assembly line in the foods room at Sands.
The pierogies, which have been packaged and frozen, will be ready for pick up this week.
“When the volunteers came together to make the pierogies, the feeling in the room was incredible,” Watters said in a post on the Delta School District’s website. “People who didn’t know each other were exchanging stories, the room was full of laughter and the camaraderie was truly outstanding.
“People were excited to get together and to do something tangible to help. I think people who were involved will feel the love and support that was in that room for many years to come. I know I will.”
The group’s efforts raised almost $3,000 for the family, with $2,500 coming from the sale of pierogies and almost $500 from donations.
“I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time or who ordered pierogies. Your efforts will go a long way in helping the family,” Watters said.
“The family knows about the fundraiser and is incredibly grateful for such amazing support from our community. We know they have made it to Germany safely and we are hoping they will arrive here in the next few weeks.”
Anyone interested in buying some pierogies can add their name to the waitlist by contacting Watters at firstname.lastname@example.org.