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Tri-State students team up to pack meals for Ukrainian refugees

The friendly high school competition was held at A Child’s Hope International’s ‘Hope Factory’
Students lead “Crosstown Packout” for Ukrainian refugees
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 10:30 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 10, 2022 at 10:37 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Area high school students came together Saturday to pack more than 100 thousand meals for Ukrainian refugees.

This friendly competition between Tri-State high schools was held at the Hope Factory at A Child’s Hope International and presented by Chick-fil-A Cincinnati.

Students prepared and packed high-protein meals from Hands Against Hunger. Those meals will then be shipped in a container to Ukrainian refugees.

Participating schools included Clark, Lakota West, Oak Hills, Mason, Mount Notre Dame, Seton and Sycamore.

In attendance was Ukrainian foreign exchange student Vladyslav Holubovskyi from Oak Hills High School.

Vlad told FOX19 NOW that events like this one hit home because his family is currently in war-torn Ukraine.

“I think it’s a really great day because I see so many people with a sincere will to help the people of Ukraine. Which are my people,” Vlad said.

Vlad enjoyed helping pack the meals with his friends but says it’s hard to enjoy it knowing his family is not here with him.

“[My family] said they feel tired and stressed because of all of this,” said Vlad, “but they don’t want to leave Ukraine because my mom and my sister don’t want to leave my father alone and of course, they’re thinking about going back to Kharkiv even though it’s pretty harsh there.”

Vlad says his parents were able to escape Kharkiv and make it to Western Ukraine, but his grandparents could not.

“My grandparents are staying in our basement because they don’t have a basement at their house,” Vlad says.” Of course, I feel worried and stressed about them because sometimes I can’t call them because of the time difference or lack of internet connection.”

Jerry Shannon, the executive director at A Child’s Hope International and the event’s organizer, says that hearing first-hand stories like this is why it is so important to help in any way they can.

“[The container] will leave here, and it will go through our partner Convoy of Hope. Convoy of Hope has partners on the ground and they will see that it gets in the hands of refugees,” said Shannon.

Organizers said the boxes contain enough food to feed more than 250 people.

“What they’re packing is rice and rice soy protein. There’s vitamin powder, and there are also dehydrated vegetables,” said Shannon. “It goes together and makes a high protein meal.”

Vlad adds that the day served as a reminder always to offer a helping hand.

“I just thought for a minute, what if this meal that I am holding right now may be crucial and save the life of some child who has been starving or maybe an orphan right now,” says Vlad. “Then you take it seriously and do whatever you can.”

The meals will leave the facility around mid-April to arrive to the families in Romania.

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