Kids raise money for Ukraine with carpentry, surfing, virtual concerts and more

LONDON, June 8, 2022 – From carving wooden bowls to surfing the Atlantic Ocean every day, whatever the weather, children are using their passions to raise funds for young people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Since February 24, the devastating conflict has been making headlines around the world and has sparked an outpouring of generosity, with children using their own initiative to help children in Ukraine and those seeking refuge in other countries.

Save the Children research finds that children in the UK want to do more to help other children around the world in response to the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, with an 80% increase in young fundraisers this year.

Gabriel, 12, from Cumbria in the UK, has used his love of woodworking to raise over £250,000 (approximately US$312,600) for children in Ukraine. Gabriel went viral online in March after his dad tweeted asking people to follow her son’s carpentry Instagram account, which had just six followers at the time. The young carpenter had originally planned to sell his wooden bowls to fund a new mountain bike, but decided to use his newfound fame for good when his Instagram account soared to a quarter of a million people and he received over 20,000 commissions.

Gabriel explained that he wanted to carve a wooden bowl engraved with a blue and yellow ring, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, to raise money for Save the Children’s Ukrainian appeal. More than 14,000 people participated in the raffle to win the wooden bowl.

“When I first got all these subscribers, I had commissions for over 20,000 bowls! We calculated it would take me about 32 years, but I wanted to do something to answer because everyone had been so supportive and I wanted to share the kindness,” said Gabriel. “I thought about doing just one special bowl and doing a raffle. I’m worried about the war in Ukraine and I wanted to help the children, so we chose Save the Children to support it.

Tessa, 11, from Connecticut, USA, raised $2,000 by baking and selling apple pies. After hearing about the hardships of children in Ukraine, Tessa used the baking business she started during quarantine, T Cakes, to make a difference.

“I saw on the news how children had to hide in bomb shelters, and I found it very heartbreaking,” said Tessa. “I thought my bakery business would be a great fundraiser. Helping others is a gift, not just to them, but to yourself, knowing that you are doing good in the world.

Max, 8, from Toronto, Canada, raised more than CAD$7,100 (approximately US$5,640) by hosting two virtual concerts on social media where he sang and played piano for children in Ukraine. He explained that he was incredibly proud that so many people across the country were willing to listen to his music and donate to his fundraiser for Save the Children.

“Helping children is very important to me because I am a child too. It is very unfair and very sad that children have to suffer. Children should always feel safe, especially in their own home,” said Max. “Seeing the pictures on the news breaks my heart and makes me emotional. That’s why I had to help in any way I could.

Carter, 11, has been surfing the waves off the US state of New Jersey every day since war escalated in February, raising more than $1,000. Carter surfed for over 740 consecutive days for various charitable causes. The young athlete said he decided to raise money for children in Ukraine after seeing a news story about a little girl who had been killed in the conflict.

“It made me sad that children my age got injured and had to leave their homes. I told my mother that I wanted to raise money for children in Ukraine”, Carter said. “I would like the children in Ukraine to feel safe and to be able to return to their homes, their pets and their schools.”

Grace, a 7th grade student from Minnesota, USA, has raised over US$3,300 for Ukrainian children through her love of jewelry making. She sold handmade bracelets in the colors of the Ukrainian flag with words of inspiration. In just one week, Grace had made 223 bracelets and raised $502 for Save the Children.

“My advice to other kids who want to help is to do whatever they can“, said Grace. “A little can go a long way. They might set a goal and do their best to achieve it. Never give up and do your best.

In Ukraine, Save the Children and local partners are providing shelter, food, cash, fuel, psychological support, and baby and hygiene kits to displaced families. The aid agency is also on the ground, distributing essential household kits to families affected by the conflict.

Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, providing humanitarian aid to children and their families. It now supports refugee families across Europe and helps children access education and other essential services.


Notes to Editor

  • According to a Save the Children survey of 5,171 UK-based children aged 7-14, conducted by consultancy Beano Brain in May 2022, the children surveyed gave or raised money for a charity five times over the past two years, with a third (31%) of children becoming more charitable in response to COVID-19 and wider global conflicts. The research also found that nearly four in five (79%) of 7-14 year olds wish they could do more to help.
  • Save the Children UK has seen community fundraising increase tenfold throughout the pandemic and the current crisis in Ukraine. Overall, people fundraising for the charity are currently up 229% from 2021 and there has been an 80% increase in the number of young fundraisers wanting to help children across the country. world.

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