Standing With Ukraine

Community Advocates hosts peace vigil, raises money


WHS students write messages of support for Ukraine outside of Northington Lobby during a peace vigil hosted by Community Advocates on Friday, March 4. “[Students] were able to just gather in a safe space to maybe think and reflect about what the Ukrainian people [are] going through,” said WHS Community Advocates advisor Kerri Flynn. The event also raised money to support the Ukrainian refugees.

WHS Community Advocates, with support from GSA and Interact, hosted a peace vigil on Friday, March 4 to honor and support victims of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. The vigil, which took place before the Mr. WHS program, allowed space for students to remember and reflect on the conflict, write messages of support, and donate to support Ukrainian refugees. 

 “We thought it would be [nice] if people could just reflect on the moment and really think about what’s going on and donate if they could,” junior Aaliyah Wirthwein said. 

The group collected spare change and donations for the International Refugee Committee–a humanitarian aid organization. After being matched by an anonymous donor, donations from the event totaled $748.  

“I thought that was really exciting to see the community really come together for a cause,” Community Advocates advisor Kerri Flynn said.

In this unity, students were able to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. 

“I think a lot of kids…wanted to do something but they didn’t really know what they could do,” Flynn said. “This gave people kind of an outlet to come together to…express their desire for peace in a way that felt meaningful for them.”  

Demonstrated by the success of the vigil, feelings of concern and grief for Ukraine run strong within the community. Even in moments where smaller actions may feel insignificant in the face of such a large-scale conflict, every action can make a difference. 

“Everyone should help each other,” Wirthwein said. “We’re all one people, and when you see humanity is struggling, you just feel like you need to help.”