Mercy High School students assemble 500 boxes of toys and clothes for Ukrainian children

MIDDLETOWN — The Mercy High School The community helped longtime friend and supporter Katie McCarthy Lombardo with her request to join a grassroots effort to help Ukrainian children earlier this month.

“I was browsing posts about Ukraine on social media and came across the profile of Kuba Jewgieniew, CEO of Realty ONE Group,” Lombardo said in a prepared statement. “His request to donate shoeboxes full of toys, inspired by his own children’s desire to help, really touched me.”

“I know the power of the Mercy community,” Lombardo said in the press release.

Mercy families, students, faculty, alumni and administrators have taken action, bringing new or gently used shoeboxes and toys to store in shoeboxes through March 9.

Students work during their theology class to assemble boxes for children of all ages, label boxes for girls, boys and babies – wrapped in paper, tied with a bow and adorned with messages of hope for children. Ukrainian children, the school said. .

“Students, faculty and staff have quickly and wholeheartedly embraced this project because when a need is identified, they take action! Supporting Ukrainian children with encouragement, prayers and smiles sums up Mercy’s mission to make the world a better place,” Mercy President Alissa DeJonge said in the statement.

The students assembled over 500 boxes in just a few days.

“I feel like we can actually do something to help Ukrainian children who can’t take anything with them, like giving them some comfort in times of need,” said one student.

“These boxes are something they can take with them – something that belongs to them,” said another student.

“It is invaluable that this effort is part of our theology course, where students can apply what they learn to a real-life scenario – solidarity is an important lesson for all of us,” said theology professor Jean Pepitone.

Jewgieniew is sponsoring the shipment to Poland, where his family members help distribute the boxes directly to Ukrainian refugee children, the press release said.

Students are putting the finishing touches on shoeboxes, and stacks of boxes line Mercy’s entire theology hallway awaiting pick-up for the next leg of their journey.

“What began as a simple idea and a sincere desire to help was quickly implemented by Mercy High School, in the spirit of helping others, especially children in need: an important reminder of solidarity , hope and humanity,” the school said.

Elizabeth J. Harless