With devastation happening in Ukraine nearly 5,000 miles away, students from District 99 took immediate action to help and offer their support. 

DGN’s Empowerment Club and German Club collected 5,000 pounds (two tons) of donations to support the people of Ukraine. Donations included non-perishable food items, hygiene products, infant necessities, sleeping bags, blankets and much more. Over the past weekend, students and staff worked together to organize the donations, pack boxes and load the school bus for the delivery. Items were delivered to collection sites in Naperville and Bradley, Ill., which will be shipped to Lviv, Ukraine.

“The people of Ukraine are experiencing a humanitarian crisis and we’re proud of our students for taking the initiative to help,” says Karen Spahr-Thomas, DGN Social Studies teacher and Empowerment Club adviser. “Thanks to the overwhelming response in donations, we quickly had to shift from six mini vans to one large school bus and a cargo van for the delivery.”

Additionally, South High School in Downers Grove (DGS) contributed two vans full of donations which were also delivered to the Naperville collection site. 

“As soon as we heard about DGN’s efforts to help Ukraine, we jumped at the opportunity,” says Laura Rodey, DGS Social Studies teacher. “Student volunteers quickly helped us spread the word and then assisted with packing up the donations.”  

DGN students have been selling wristbands that read “Slava Ukraini”, which means “Glory to Ukraine.” More than $1,700 has been raised and will benefit the World Central Kitchen.

“We’re incredibly proud of our students and staff for their dedication to help families in Ukraine,” says Dr. Courtney DeMent, DGN Principal. “And thank you to our Downers Grove community for their support of our students’ efforts.”