Candles for Ukraine

Pietro Gagliardo smiles at the camera as he prepares the note tags for the candles.


            From March 14 to March 18, students and faculty held a fundraiser to support the people of Ukraine during these difficult times. The fundraiser involved selling candles in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and tags in Cyrillic writing stating “No War,” “Glory to Ukraine,” and “Save Ukraine” to help provide medical equipment for those in need.

            Teachers Nicole Engebos and Brittany Fuentes organized the fundraiser. “Ms. Engebos and I felt that we had students in our building being affected by the events unfolding in Ukraine. We wanted to make an impact and help in any way that we could. Ms. Engebos came up with the idea to make the candles,” stated Fuentes.

            Julia Sadovska, who was born in Ukraine, appreciates the symbolism of the candles featuring the colors of the Ukrainian flag. “We wanted to do something unique that people would buy that symbolizes Ukraine in a recognizable way,” explained Sadovska.

            Engebos oversaw the process of making the candles. “We got glue wicks into jars, melted wax, dyed it yellow, waited for it to dry, melted more wax, dyed it blue, waited for it to dry, then finished the candles. We trimmed the wick, put on the lid, and tied on the tags,” Engebos explained.

Iryna Yakymets pours the melted yellow wax into the candle jars to create the bottom layer of the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

            Junior Pietro Gagliardo, who was born in Italy, took part in the event. “I helped out by building and selling candles. It was a fun experience,” he said. “I was very glad for the opportunity and way to give back to the community.”

            Maria Petrova, a sophomore who has relatives in Ukraine said, “I want to do what I can to help Ukraine, even if it’s something simple like melting wax.” She and the other students and teachers involved with the event hope that the fundraiser helps give Ukraine the necessities they need right now.

            Through candle sales alone, the school raised over $1,000 in support of Ukraine. Fuentes and many others are pleased with the outcome of the fundraiser. “We received so much support from administration, and we were grateful for how many orders we received!”

Posted on 4/27/22

Photos by Nicole Engebos and Ava Gross

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