Student-led fundraiser for Ukrainian aid off to a quick start with $866 raised

Baylor University students are using their studies to help Ukrainian families. Photo by Abraham Sylvestre

WACO, Texas (March 27, 2022) — Bears Helping Babies, a new charity campaign launched by Baylor students has already raised $866. 

The student-run organization exists to raise money for displaced refugee families fleeing the war in Ukraine. The campaign’s goal is to raise $20,000 for supplies such as diapers, food, hygiene kits and blankets.

Many Ukrainian families have been fractured, with men under 60 barred from leaving the country, leaving mothers to protect their children alone

“The UN refugee agency estimates 3.9 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion started last month, and an estimated 6.5 million are displaced inside the country,” according to an article published by WORLD Digital. 

The money donated to Bears Helping Babies will go to Poland through Samaritan’s Purse, a charitable organization with workers currently on the ground. According to the BBC, about 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland. 

Travel alone is already an ordeal, as detailed on Voice of Ukraine, an outlet for Christians experiencing the war to share their experiences. In a blog post, Oleksii Blyzniuk, academic dean of a Presbyterian seminary, wrote on the difficulty of travel within Ukraine. He stated a trip between Kyiv and Lviv, which normally takes around eight hours, now took more than a day.

“We can see … God’s support that we receive through the prayers and practical help from brothers and sisters from all over the world,” Blyzniuk said.  

Two classes at Baylor are shouldering the project under there leadership of Matthew Brammer, a professor in Baylor’s journalism department. 

Brammer brainstormed with his Principles of Advertising 3367 class on semester-project ideas, using the concept of a fundraiser for Ukrainian children as an example, which then launched the idea into reality. 

The next step was adding the Writing and Editing for Online Media students to the team. 

“I’m a dad – so of course my thoughts go to taking care of the family,” Brammer said. “I can’t imagine what they are going through, fathers, mothers, children. The fact that we as Baylor can help in some little way – that’s awesome.”

The campaign, represented by a child’s handprint and a bear’s paw print in the colors of the Ukrainian flag,  will spread the word to Baylor students and alumni, as well as others eager to help, through its website, social media and word-of-mouth. 

A League City senior Briana Garcia is the only student in both classes. She said she has seen how students in both classes bring different ideas and opinions to the project.

“It increases my passion for this project … Baylor students can really make a difference,” Garcia said. 

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