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Ukraine Fundraiser

On Friday, 25th of March, a charity event was held at GZAAT after classes. There was food, such as pizza, chocolates, and cookies being sold, as well as books, notebooks, posters, polaroid pictures, and so on. The money collected from the fundraiser was used to help Ukraine and the people affected by the war. This event was organized by Ninia Dzneladze and Nitsa Amilakhvari, two Freshmen students. They got the inspiration and motivation for organizing this event after hearing about the young Ukranian boy crossing the border to Poland all alone, clutching only a plastic bag containing his few belongings. The two girls felt very touched and emotional, so much that they got the intense urge to try and do something in order to help the suffering country. Juniors at GZAAT had organized a fundraiser for Ukraine previously, around a month ago. Ninia and Nitsa felt that such charity events are quite effective, considering how successful the previous one had been, and so they decided to host one of their own.

Nitsa says that at first, she felt a bit skeptical, questioning how interested students would be in participating in a second charity event. However, once she and Ninia got over their fears, they contacted Mr. Andres Cruz, letting him know about their idea. Interestingly, their original plan was to put out cardboard boxes, where students would place clothes, medicine, hygiene products, and other necessary items, which would then be sent to Ukraine. However, Mr. Cruz advised that collecting money would probably be the best way to help Ukraine, so they changed up their plans. Nitsa and Ninia also contacted Keti Jabishvili, who was one of the main organizers of the previous event, for tips and advice. Soon enough word had spread that there would be a second fundraiser. An email was sent out to the whole school, and posters and fliers were hung around the school building, as well as shared all over social media. Many of Nitsa’s and Ninia’s fellow peers decided to help out and sell a variety of different items for the charity, such as homemade food, tea, and stickers. Those who had small businesses outside of school provided products to sell as well. Even books translated by students at the school were sold out. Besides this, many promised to show up and buy as many items as they could. The two organizers felt more confident about the whole event.

Soon enough the last lesson of Friday came and the cafeteria is being readied for the event. Ninia and Nitsa had brought many Ukraine-themed decorations which they used to beautify the cafeteria. Tables were set aside and the items were displayed. As the lessons finished, students and teachers alike came flooding into the cafeteria. There was a buzz of people as everyone went from table to table, picking out items which they liked and buying them. After the first fifteen minutes though, most of the products were sold out and the throng of people was lessening. Music was playing and people started to dance. As the crowd continued to thin out, one of the school guards came up with a new way to have fun and collect money. Students would play a game of “chairs”, but you had to pay in order to participate. People gathered, put down their money, and started to play. As the music stopped, everyone rushed towards the chairs, desperately trying to secure a spot. The few remaining students seemed to be having a good time. However, this charity event was not able to continue as long as the previous one, because future eighth graders had to take their exams. So soon enough, the students started to pack up and tidy the cafeteria.

Around 2500 Lari was collected from this event, and the overall charity ended up being a

pleasant success. After doing some research, Ninia and Nitsa found a reliable donation to

send over the money to. It is called “Save Ukraine” and Ninia actually discovered this

organization through her mom's friend, who is an active participant in the organization.

As of now, Ukranians are suffering and fighting through a one-sided war and need all of the help and support that they can get. The war has a very large effect on Georgians especially, amongst others, and it is important to express our support and solidarity through any means possible. Even though 2500 lari might not seem like much, if many people take initiative and play their part, as Ninia and Nitsa did, then that could count for something. It could mean a full meal for a hungry citizen, extra protection for a desperate soldier, and one less sick day for the diseased. It could mean one less young, helpless child having to cross the border into a foreign country on foot, completely and utterly alone.

Edited by Kato Ambokadze

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