Kids Organize Collection Drive for Ukraine in Marlborough

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"We've got combs and baby diapers and baby wipes and deodorant and stuff," said 9-year-old Lydia Merritt.

And there's a lot more that Marlborough Elementary School fourth graders are hoping to collect.

Merritt and Sara Irani said seeing families in Ukraine leave everything behind made them realize that women and children there could use some help.

"We've seen pictures of things that are happening in Ukraine, and it's disturbed us to the point where we feel we need to do something," said Merritt.

"A lot of people in Ukraine, like, don't have stuff," said 9-year-old Irani.

The two students asked their principal if they could start a collection at school.

"We were looking for something to do for the people of Ukraine, and fortunately, we had two of our students come to us and pitch an idea. They had posters and they had a flier, and they thought it would be great to collect toiletries for mostly the women and children that are making the move from Ukraine to Poland," said Marlborough Elementary School Principal Dan White.

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In addition to toiletries, Merritt and Irani said they want to collect personal hygiene items and items for newborns.

"It's just, like, our first day, and that much stuff came already," said Irani, who was talking about the boxes filled with donated items behind her.

Principal White said it's no surprise they've collected so much from students, parents and staff already because that's what this community does. He said he hopes this also teaches students that what they do can make a difference.

"One of the students kind of shared that he wished that people would be nice to the people in Ukraine. So even at that level, somebody who is 7-, 8-years-old, there is an impact. So I think if they can do anything to know they're helping, that'll go a long way," said White.

Students are hoping for a lot more donated items before Monday's deadline. After that, the school said a parent who has a contact with an airline is arranging for everything to be flown to Poland early next week.

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Merritt and Irani said they want Ukrainians to know they're not alone.

"I hope that they know that a bunch of 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds put this together, and there's always someone to go to," said Merritt.

The last day for the collection is Monday, March 21. For those who don't have children in the school but would still like to donate, Marlborough Elementary School will have a drop off on Saturday, March 19, at the front of the school from 9 a.m. to noon. The address is 25 School Dr. in Marlborough.

Merritt and Irani said they're looking for diapers, baby wipes, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, razors, toothbrushes, mouthwash, deodorant, feminine products, lotions and other similar items.

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