At GNB Voc-Tech, we encourage all to continue to keep Ukraine and Russia in your thoughts as we wish for peace and resolution. To help encourage our community to be mindful of this time, GNBVT stood in solidarity and wore the colors of the Ukrainian flag, blue and yellow. This was highlighted in SouthCoast’s Today article, New Bedford and Fall River are rallying to aid Ukraine. Here’s how you can help.
Poster Design by: GNBVT Visual Design
Photography by: Senior Media Technology student, Katelyn Pereira.
Article below is Courtesy from the New Bedford Standard Times / southcoasttoday.com
Here’s how you can help.
by Matthew Ferreira
Posted Mar 17, 2022 at 4:00 AM.
Updated: 12:22 PM.
NEW BEDFORD — As saddened as he is by the tragic current events unfolding in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, the Rev. Rob Nemkovich of Blessed Trinity Parish in Fall River says it’s hard not to be inspired by the response he’s been witnessing on the SouthCoast.
“It’s one thing to feel bad, but it’s another to actually get out and do something,” Nemkovich said referring to local efforts to help those displaced or otherwise impacted by the war with Russia. “Right now, we’re seeing that people want to do something.”
Local church bridges Fall River, Poland
On Sunday, Nemkovich will be presenting his congregation and community members with the opportunity to send support by contributing funds that will be wired the very next day directly to St. Barbara’s, Blessed Trinity’s sister parish in southern Poland. Nemkovich has been in contact with the parish since the war started last month and says their facilities have been “transformed” into a shelter for refugees who fled Ukraine.
#UnitedForUkraine now online
For those who don’t have cash or check handy, there’s another locally-based platform set up to send monetary support to those in need from the war. Last week, United Way of Greater Fall River set up the #UnitedForUkraine Fund. It is the local branch’s own online fundraising platform where donors — local or not — can send money electronically. Not unlike the above-mentioned church efforts, branch Executive Director Kim Smith says the funds will go into the hands of those working directly with refugees.
“United Way has branches in the places that the refugees are going to, so this will really help them fill the needs that they’re seeing as they’re on the ground working with people,” said Smith.
With memories of COVID-19’s sudden outbreak in 2020 still fresh in mind, Smith says she hopes the exposure United Way gained through its pandemic-related fundraising efforts will bolster the current #UnitedForUkraine initiative.
“When the war started, we had a lot of calls coming in with inquiries on what people could do to help, and I think a lot of the reason people turned right to us for that information is the result of the work we did during COVID,” Smith said. “We raised over a million dollars in local response funds and more people started getting to know us as a trusted source for directing resources where they’re going to have the most impact.”
School spirit goes blue and yellow
On the local education front, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School, Dartmouth Public Schools, and the Argosy Collegiate Charter School in Fall River are among those that have found ways to show support for the Ukrainian people.
At GNB Voc-Tech, students were encouraged to stand with Ukrainians by wearing blue and yellow to school last Friday, while visual design and multimedia shop members helped promote the occasion throughout the school. “I”m so thankful to see our school community coming together in this way,” said Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Family Engagement Yolanda Dennis.
Aside from showing unified support, Dennis also noted the importance of being able to have meaningful discussions on the Russia-Ukraine war in classrooms — something she has worked to help facilitate throughout the school. “I’ve added resources to Google Classroom, which all of our teachers have access to, that are meant to encourage conversations about what is going on,” she said.
At Dartmouth Public Schools, educators have been working on an approach that will not only launch the district’s relief efforts, but incorporate relevant topics into the curriculum.
“Our vertical social studies team (grades 6, 7, 8) is planning lessons on being a good citizen and humanitarian and the middle school is dedicating Monday, March 21 to roll out the lessons,” Dartmouth Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bonnie Gifford wrote in an email to The Standard-Times. Gifford said March 21 will also be the date the district launches its collection of personal hygiene supplies to be sent over and distributed to those who need them, with other initiatives still being discussed for Dartmouth’s elementary schools.
In Fall River, Argosy Collegiate Charter School’s National Honor Society students stepped up and took the lead in coming up with a number of fundraisers that kicked off this week.
“In response to the crisis unfolding in Ukraine, Argosy Collegiate Charter School is passionate about helping any way we can,” Argosy High School Dean of College and Career Readiness Holly Raposo wrote in via email. “Our National Honor Society members have come up with creative ways to raise much needed funds by offering dress down days, an upcoming bake sale, and selling yellow and blue ribbons to represent the flag of Ukraine. Our scholars recognize an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and want to honor the bravery and determination that the people of Ukraine continue to demonstrate. We are pleased to support them by showing that we are united for Ukraine.”