Amidst Ukraine crisis, Eastern helps humanitarian relief


Photo supplied by Mr. McConnell

The National Art Honors Society, in addition to other clubs and members of Eastern, is making a difference in worldwide humanitarian relief during the Ukrainian crisis.

   Russia’s deadly, catastrophic invasion of Ukraine has become one of the worst disasters in recent memory. Millions of Ukrainian citizens have been displaced from their homes, and are fleeing the country. Almost 1,000 civilians have died, and that’s just counting the reported statistics.

   These people are in dire need of aid after the ruthless Russian president Vladimir Putin tore their nation open. In addition, there are countless other atrocities being committed worldwide that aren’t receiving as much media attention. Genocides against the Rohingya people in Myanmar, as well as the Uyghur people in Xinjiang, China, also represent major ongoing humanitarian crises.

   Even though we’re thousands of miles away from these disasters, Eastern can still make a huge difference in relief efforts. After the crisis in Ukraine made headlines around the globe, Mr. McConnell came up with the idea to organize a group fundraiser open to all of the clubs and activities, students, and faculty at Eastern.

   “This is an excellent opportunity for the Eastern community to come together to relieve the damage that is unfolding in Ukraine right now,” he said.

   The money collected will go to the American Red Cross on behalf of the Art Honor Society, and they will benefit Ukrainians as well as anyone in need worldwide.

   Donations were collected in the main lobby on April 9th and April 14th, and they will be collected again on May 13th and 18th from 12:00 to 12:30 PM. In addition, Mr. McConnell is accepting the donations in room 314.

   The fundraiser is running from April 1st to May 20th, culminating in a blood drive on May 18th in Gym 1. The drive is open to sophomores and above; they can sign up during health or gym class in Gym 4, and juniors and seniors can sign up in Gym 1 during those classes.

   Sophomore class president Aden Falk supports the idea of a blood drive to show solidarity for the Ukrainian people.

   “Our efforts here are going to help the people in Ukraine; mothers without their children, wives without their husbands. I highly encourage all sophomores to show their support during this truly heartbreaking conflict,” he said.

   Aside from the Art Honors Society fundraiser and blood drive, other people and groups at Eastern are making separate contributions. The book club Book Buzz and the Fashion Club are partnering to design and make Ukraine bookmarks, and the AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) union is planning to hold a fundraiser at Mr. Wish.

   Mr. Isshak, who teaches the Genocide, Holocaust, and Crimes Against Humanity course, is also giving back in a big way. He collected donations from all of his classes up until spring break, and personally matched the $650 that was raised by generous members of the Eastern community.

   “Every cent counts; it’s one more teddy bear, one more blanket for a child in need,” he said.

   The proceeds are going to the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which has a large footprint in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and helps people of all nationalities.

   Regardless of which charity or organization you support, make sure that you chip in and do your part to support the brave people in Ukraine and all over the world who are dealing with horrific circumstances.

   “Bad things happen when good people do nothing,” Isshak said.