Lending a Hand from Across the World

Allie Frazer, News Editor

From Wednesday, March 2 to Saturday, March 5, Ms. Flynn of Wantagh High School and the Wantagh community ran a collection drive to help support the victims of Ukraine impacted by the current Russian invasion.

On Wednesday, Ms. Flynn sent out flyers that she would be collecting essential supplies to give to the Ukrainian Americans of Long Island, and that she would like to have all supplies collected and ready to be sent to UALI by Friday. 

In the three days of collecting, according to Ms. Flynn, the elementary schools, middle school, and the high school had collected “about 100 boxes” full of donations—so many that she had to go out to buy more boxes multiple times.

On Friday, with the help of students, teachers, and members of the community, Ms. Flynn spent all day organizing the donations into boxes. Aidan Tracy, a senior, helped out by donating “clothes, blankets, socks” as well as helping organize the donations into boxes alongside Ms. Flynn. Mrs. Federico was one of the teachers that lended a hand, as she helped every free period she had on Friday, as well as after school until 4:30.

After the organizing, there was the task of bringing the boxes to the UALI center in Uniondale. Ms. Flynn called in some seniors to help drive the boxes to the center, and her parents rented a small U-Haul truck to accomodate for the immense amount of donations received. One senior, Jack Lee, says he was at the collection site for about two hours, and that he volunteered to help because, “It makes me feel good that I’m able to help people that need it.” 

Mrs. Carr joined the caravan to the collection center, helping to unload the boxes from the U-Haul truck. On getting involved, she says, “I feel fortunate and blessed, and I feel we need to help [the people of Ukraine].”

After the boxes were unloaded from all the cars and the truck, everyone admired the sea of donations. Mrs. Coons commented that the donations filled “two huge rooms,” and Ms. Flynn said the amount of donations “was easily the size of our library [and] about five feet high.”

On Saturday, some of Wantagh’s teachers returned to help the Ukrainian Americans to organize the donations and prepare them to be shipped straight to Ukraine. Mr. Scarabino stayed at the UALI collection center from 10:30 until 1:30, and he says his job was to “stack and organize [boxes] and then assist others in locating new boxes to pack materials into.” He also commented on the Warrior spirit, stating “Wantagh is a community that cares. Regardless of how things are here, we are aware of what is happening in the world and that we will always try to do the best we can to help others.”

Mrs. Coons also joined Mr. Scarabino and Ms. Flynn at the site on Saturday. She saw that “everyone from the church had a family member to worry about in Ukraine,” and that by helping here locally, she can help at least one person affected in Ukraine. 

Mrs. Butler helped by donating to Ms. Flynn’s collection. Mrs. Butler has family that live in Ukraine, and she says, “As a Ukrainian, it is unbelievable and overwhelming knowing that people from here care so much, almost the same on 9/11, how everyone just pulls together to help others in need — there are no words to express it.”

Ms. Flynn’s collection was an overwhelming success, and she thanks everyone that helped by donating and those that took time out of their days to help organize the donations.