Hawley High School exchange student gives back to hometown in Ukraine

HAWLEY, Minn. (KVRR) — A high school sophomore is helping Ukrainian’s stuck in the country by working with volunteer organizations to send resources.

A foreign exchange student from Ukraine at Hawley High School is raising money to ensure her hometown receives essential supplies.

Daniella Zubarieva remembers from a young age going through lockdown drills at school as a precaution. Now, it’s become reality for her hometown.

“It’s always really difficult because I remember those trainings in schools. Where are we going to hide? Those basements where we had to hide, thinking of how it will go if something strikes, if something actually strikes. We all grew up with a constant fear of war but everyone hoped and joked and everyone was sure that nothing’s gonna happen,” says Danya Zubarieva.

It’s been more than a week since she’s spoken to family, but she knows they’re safe due to other mutual connections.

“Since February 24th until March 1st I was able to keep the connection and since then the connection was fully cut off. My father is in India right now, he’s a sailor. He’s the only relative I’m able to keep in contact with. Other than that, no one,” said Zubarieva.

She’s ready to shine a light representing Mariupol.

“The money that we’re raising at school is going through volunteers who will send supplies, not money because right now, money is just paper. There are no stores, you cannot do anything with money. They need actual supplies, actual medicine, actual clothes, we’re going to be running it through Volunteers of America,” Zubarieva says.

Her friends join her for the support but a challenge they’re facing is a race against time.

“They need help, Mariupol and Ukraine, right now. So, the things that we’re doing kinda takes time. Now, we’re taking preorders and then we’re gonna deliver it I think on Monday. So yeah, time is the hardest thing,” says Danya’s friend Dila Iay.

The fundraiser features homemade cookies, custom t-shirts and bracelets.

With the help of her teachers and peers, Danya has raised over $2700 dollars.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News