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Jackson Park Fourth-Graders #HelptheKids With Coin Drive for Ukrainian Refugees

Students counting coins
It was a lot of work counting more than $6,000 donated to Jackson Park’s #HelptheKids coin drive held in the weeks after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The community service event was designed by fourth-graders to help child refugees with food, shelter, clothing, housing and other needs.

KMOV-Channel 4: University City 4th graders raise money for Ukrainian children (March 30, 2022 - Video)

Jackson Park students were deeply affected by news of a hostile invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. They empathized with the children who were being forced to flee their country. 

Together, the students created the #HelptheKids coin drive. They designed their own posters and advertising and rallied the entire school to donate coins or cash through a GoFundMe site. Their efforts attracted TV news attention, which further increased their fundraising. 

The students counted and graphed every coin donated to the cause, and even hosted a pizza party for the classroom that gave the most coins. In total, the students exceeded their goal six times over and raised $6,140 in just three weeks.

In May 2022, the University City Board of Education and District administration recognize U.C. teacher Alex McCune and her student philanthropists for their worldview, their empathy and their action to help children in need whom they may never meet and live more than 5,432 miles away from St. Louis.