On Tuesday, 1st March, the Salesian Secondary College received a letter from Don Bosco Aid Office saying that the Salesians of Don Bosco in Ireland have launched an urgent appeal to help Salesians working and supporting people affected by the war in Ukraine.
Shortly afterward, the school set up a committee made of Staff and Transition Year Students to promote, coordinate, and collect all donations in school and wider school community. On Wednesday, 2nd March, an appeal letter was prepared and sent to parents, guardians, staff, Students, and to the wider Salesian school community through the school app, Facebook and the school website.
People can donate monies directly through the Salesian Ireland website. In school, some activities have been organised to raise funds to support the people of Ukraine. Such as, the blue/yellow colours day, sale of daffodils and raffle tickets has so far raised over €3000.
In terms of donating materials, only certain goods are asked for to meet the immediate needs of the people who are sheltering in Salesian centres in the Ukraine, such as, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, thermal blankets, dressings (bandages, plasters, disinfectants, saline solutions, etc.), long-life foodstuffs (tinned food, rice, polenta, pasta, baby jars), personal hygiene products (soaps, shampoo, wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and washable nappies.
We aimed to have all the donations collected by Thursday, 10th March so that they would reached Salesian centres in Ukraine and Poland at the very earliest opportunity. The materials brought to school were soon piled high day after day. The committee was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people. In the beginning, we thought we would leave the donation in four classrooms. However, after a few days, we had to move them to a parlour in the Salesian house which is beside school in order to leave those classrooms free to receive more donation over the following days.
On Friday morning, 11th March, more donations were brought in school. A group of Students helped to bring them to the parlour. They tried to sort out all the materials into different categories and got them ready for transport to Don Bosco Aid Office in Dublin later in the afternoon.
Just after midday two vans arrived in front of the Salesian Community house and were ready for uploading. With a great help of Staff and Students, the two vans were filled to the brim after before being transported to Don Bosco Aid Office for onward transit to the Salesian refugee centres in Poland and Ukraine.
We are grateful for the generosity of Staff, Students, and wider school community. A huge thank to the Staff And Students involved in the campaign directly and to the Students involved in collecting and organising the bags, and in filling the vans.
In the love of Don Bosco,
Fr Dominic Binh SDB