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In two days, Monona Grove students raise more than $10K for Ukraine

Monona Grove High School is pitching into a global effort to support Ukraine, impacting one of its own students who calls the country her home.
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:24 PM CST
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MONONA, Wis. (WMTV) - Monona Grove High School is pitching into a global effort to support Ukraine, impacting one of its own students who calls the country her home.

Friday, students and teachers wore blue and yellow pins, representing Ukraine’s official colors. The handmade pins and bracelets signaled those who took part in a fundraiser organized by the Model UN club.

After two days, the drive collected more than $10 thousand, faculty said.

“I love this club, and I’m so grateful that we have such good people who are willing to help in such difficult times,” Kate Popova, a sophomore and member of Model UN, said.

Popova is a foreign exchange student, who last saw her family in the fall. She says her parents are still home in Odessa, a city in the southern part of Ukraine.

“Fortunately, they’ve had the chance to get supplies, and they have a quite safe environment at this point,” she said.

As Russia advances its invasion, Popova said calls to home have grown more frequent. Her parents, she said, ask more often about school.

“I would say I’m as fine as I can be,” she said. “Obviously, it’s stressful, and everyone checks [the] news every second.”

Popova said she wanted to help those in her country and approached the teachers who advise Model UN.

Brian Jefferson, the club’s advisor, said, “The fact that high school students are at the root of this is amazing. So many times people discount the younger generation, but to look at what they’ve done in two days says a lot about this group.”

“As soon as you take that first step, high schoolers are always going to be willing to help with a crisis like this,” Senior Lauren Fieweger said.

Mary Konz said she wanted to support not just Popova, but another Ukranian student in Model UN. “We needed to show them that we support them, that they’re valued, they’re loved, and we feel for them during this time,” she said.

Surpassing $11 thousand by late Friday afternoon, according to faculty, the drive will support CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund. Its website said the fund aims “to reach 4 million with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance— prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly.”

“Absolute strangers help Ukraine— that’s a really powerful thing,” Popova said.

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