BRES student leadership provides materials for Ukrainian refugee children

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On March 10, the management team of 7th and 8th graders from the Boothbay area primary school collected 30 packages of coloring books and crayons to ship to Ukrainian refugees at the Romanian-Romanian border. Ukrainian.

BRES maintenance worker Tom Dewey put the students in touch with a Romanian friend, Andreea, whom he met a few years ago at the Newagen Seaside Inn. Andreea lives in Galati, a Romanian town on the Danube near the Romanian-Moldavian/Ukrainian border, and she helps refugees crossing the border to access food, water, shelter and basic necessities.

When the Russian invasion began on February 24, Dewey asked Andreea if she was okay. She said the Romanians were fine, but the needs of the Ukrainian refugees would increase. Refugees started crossing the border in groups of two or three, but by the end of the third day, February 27, families were waiting 12 hours to cross the border, she said.

At first Romanians tried to open their homes to their neighbours, but the shock of the invasion was so fresh and they were so terrified that they didn’t know who to trust, so most waited for housing from emergency, Dewey said. Since then, the Galatians have constructed eight buildings for emergency accommodation.

Needs such as mattresses, converters, hygiene products, nappies, food and water can all be obtained locally, making cash the most useful tool in helping refugees, a said Dewey.

“(But) to keep the little ones busy (we need) coloring books and crayons,” Andreea said. “Volunteers at the border post said they are ready to receive food and water for at least a week. Some local businesses are offering to deliver daily at the border, so what we are doing now is c is to take care of those who stay overnight for at least two or three days and to help them get in touch with their relatives in Europe.

Dewey said he knew he could count on the student leadership of BRES to take on the project of collecting materials to send to children and that they immediately took ownership of the project.

BRES Principal Shawna Kurr and Grade 5 and 8 Guidance Counselor Sarah Gordon assisted student leadership by sending home a request in the school newsletter for all willing BRES students and parents to help. Kurr’s appeal to students and parents began with one of Mr. Roger’s famous quotes: “When I was a boy and saw scary things in the new boy, my mother would tell me, ‘Look for the aids. You will always find people who will help you.’”

“We have a school full of helpers,” Kurr said.

Gordon said: “I’m very proud of our team for putting it all together. We have a great group of student leaders at our school and I’m really excited to be working with them this year.

Kurr mentioned the project to Rotarian Brenda Blackman at the March 3 teacher appreciation luncheon, and Blackman said she knew it was something she and others would like to donate. “I said, ‘oh my God, we want to participate.’ I went back to the (first) branch, told the girls about it, we all got on board, collected some money and bought all the supplies.

Blackman also contacted Dave Patch at American Legion Post #36 who helped provide shipping funds, she said.

Dewey said that apart from things like coloring books, pencils and colored pencils, urgent needs are more easily met by cash because it moves faster than parcels and Romanians know better where and how to spend the money. The current exchange rate is around 4.50 leu for every US dollar, and due to the nature of inflation, the costs are around four times lower. This means that everything we buy here in the United States to ship to Romania is only a quarter of what could be bought there, and that does not include shipping costs. “These packages are going to take an average of two weeks to get there. The money takes four days… and the cost-effectiveness is amazing… That’s why those US dollars really do a lot.

“I’m sure when 30 packets of coloring books arrive at Andreea she may be a little overwhelmed, but I’m thinking in a good way. She spoke to the organization she works with about coloring books and they’re on board. delighted.

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