Sands Students, Staff and Community Fundraise for Family From Ukraine

Category: District

After hearing that a staff member’s sister had fled Ukraine with her children and was on route to Canada, Kristie Watters, Child and Youth Care Worker at Sands Secondary, organized a pierogi fundraiser in record time to help the incoming family.

A letter about the fundraiser was shared with families and word even made it onto a local Facebook community page. Orders for the pierogies came flying in from staff, students and the wider community, and soon all 250-dozen pierogies were pre-sold. Last week, more than 100 volunteers met on three consecutive afternoons/evenings and set up a pierogi assembly line in the Foods room at Sands. The pierogies, which have been packaged and frozen, will be ready for pick up this week.

“When the volunteers came together to make the pierogies, the feeling in the room was incredible,” said Kristie. “People who didn’t know each other were exchanging stories, the room was full of laughter and the camaraderie was truly outstanding. People were excited to get together and to do something tangible to help. I think people who were involved will feel the love and support that was in that room for many years to come – I know I will.”

As of April 14, the fundraiser has resulted in more than $4,000 being raised for the family through the sale of pierogies and donations from the school community. Supplies for the pierogies were funded by a United Way Local Love Fund that Kristie had applied for.

“I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time or who ordered pierogies. Your efforts will go a long way in helping the family. The family knows about the fundraiser and is incredibly grateful for such amazing support from our community. We know they have made it to Germany safely and we are hoping they will arrive here in the next few weeks,” said Kristie.

If you are interested in buying pierogies, you can add your name to a waitlist by contacting Kristie at