After hearing that a staff member’s sister had fled Ukraine with her children and was on route to Canada, Kristie Watters, Child and Youth Care Worker at Sands Secondary, organized a pierogi fundraiser in record time to help the incoming family.
A letter about the fundraiser was shared with families and word even made it onto a local Facebook community page. Orders for the pierogis came flying in from staff, students and the wider community, and soon all 250-dozen pierogis were pre-sold.
Last week, more than 100 volunteers met on three consecutive afternoons/evenings and set up a pierogi assembly line in the foods room at Sands. The pierogis, which have been packaged and frozen, are now ready for pick-up.
“When the volunteers came together to make the pierogis, the feeling in the room was incredible,” said Watters. “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 fundraiser resulted in almost $3,000 being raised for the family with $2,500 from the sale of pierogis and almost $500 in donations. Supplies for the pierogis were funded by a
United Way Local Love Fund that Watters applied for.
“I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time or who ordered pierogis,” she said. “Your efforts will go a long way in helping the family. 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.”