A Community Member Striving to Make a Difference: Arianna Werkun ’24’s Fundraiser for the Ukraine Crisis


Courtesy of Afrika Gaye ’24

Arianna Werkun ’24 has taken the initiative to organize a fundraiser to donate medical vehicles to Ukraine. Arianna is working with an organization called Terenówka Medyczna Dla Ukrainy, which raises money to purchase SUVs and turn them into medical vehicles. These vehicles are packed with medical equipment and other necessities before being sent to Ukraine. 

Arianna decided to get involved after hearing about the cause from her neighbors in Poland who are part of this organization: “I volunteered to help out. From there, I met with the leaders of the organization to figure out what can be done from out of the country.” She said, “The situation worried my family, especially those who live in Poland. Many of my neighbors in Poland have had Ukrainian refugee families stay with them or organized food drives. I felt disconnected from the situation and wished that I could help out just like members of my community in Poland.”

With the help of individuals like Arianna, Terenówka Medyczna Dla Ukrainy and other organizations have made a significant impact on the lives of Ukrainians. “Four cars, including the one which we raised money for last spring, have been sent successfully into Ukraine. The 40,000 złoty goal (equivalent to roughly $8,866) was surpassed by around 7,000 złoty ($1,552). Not only was there enough money to purchase the cars, but there was also extra money to buy medical supplies and kits to be distributed,” said Arianna.

The medical equipment and support have gone to cities such as Kyiv that have been afflicted by the war. “The group’s connections in Ukraine have provided feedback on how the aid has saved lives, as well as requested for more help. The initial plan was to send only three cars to Ukraine, but sending a fourth one has proven just how necessary this organization’s work is,” said Arianna. 

Arianna is planning another fundraiser to send more medical kits to Ukraine. It will most likely begin in a month, and with the help of the Groton community, she is hoping to continue to support the crisis in Ukraine.

Many current and former Grotonians have taken part in aiding Ukraine and have taken a stand just as Arianna has done. Michael Curtis ’80 worked with surgeons a few miles short of the Russian border to provide emergency care for injured Ukrainians. Groton’s Global Education Opportunities program has coordinated dialogues with high school students from around the world to discuss the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine and refugee crisis.