SA family collects school supplies for students in Ukraine


Addison Kania

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale assault on Ukraine. Ever since that day, Ukraine has been fighting to keep the land that its residents call home. Over 5.6 million refugees have left Ukraine and close to 3,000 have died due to this invasion. This devastation has also caused great loss in infrastructure such as schools. While Ukrainian people are living through this everyday, many of them are still wanting an education, which is just one demonstration of their resilience.

Shaler Area High School juniors, Maddie and Mackenzie Barr, and their 4th grade sister, Lucy, are of Ukrainian descent. They are members at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church and were approached by the priest’s wife in hopes their family could help support a friend. Her friend has been running a school of 2,000 students in an underground facility as the war rages around the country.

Starting on April 4, the Barrs set out a donation box at all Shaler Area schools for school supplies to be collected that would be sent to the students in Ukraine. The project ended on April 29 and the girls worked with Maidan of Dignity Charitable Foundation, Kyiv, Ukraine to get the supplies over there. In terms of donations, they were very successful.

“We filled three SUVs with thousands of school supplies, and have received approximately $2,000 in monetary donations,” Maddie Barr said.

They were greatly appreciative of these donations and all the work the community put in to raise them especially since it was so important to them.

“Due to the devastation of the war in the Ukraine, children are being uprooted and deserve to still be educated and have some sort of normalcy. These school supplies will help in a small way continue with education. It’s also important because of our family heritage with Ukraine,” Maddie said.

This project was a great way to bring the community together to support Ukrainians through this horrific time. If you are looking for any other ways to help Ukrainian people at this time, here is an additional link: