ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The crisis in Ukraine has sparked many into action, including students at Rockford Lutheran, who have made bracelets in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Senior Emily Peterson said she’s helping sell the blue and yellow bracelets because she has a deep passion for the people there.
“These are people that I don’t know personally, but, like, I felt so much for them. And so, when I found out we were doing the fundraiser I was so excited because it was like I could actually do something to contribute to help these people,” she said.
For $5, a student can buy a bracelet, which allows them to opt out of the school’s dress code.
All of the money that will be raised will go to Rockford’s sister city, Brovary, in Ukraine.
The students have already raised over $700.
“Even though it might just be five dollars, when we come together as a family and all do that, we have an impact. So, I think the students have really, they have a really positive reaction to it,” said Jessica Iasparro, Director of Student Life at Rockford Lutheran.
Teachers and staff said they’ve seen the students going “above and beyond,” some bringing in $20 to purchase just one bracelet.
“They see this as making a tangible difference. If this results in blankets, if this results in more people getting shelter, if this results in more food in the refugee camps across the broader in Poland [then] this is awesome and we want to do more,” said Darren Hansen, head of the school’s theology department.
The Rockford Lutheran family hopes the initiative will inspire others to help to stand with the people of Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion.
“I hope that people can realize that every little bit counts,” said Peterson. “I hope that people can realize they can make a contribution however small, however big, and that it has an impact and I hope people can see that.”
The bracelet project was started by organizers of a Peace Day in Rockford, where they gave 15,000 wristbands to schools around the stateline.