The 12-year-old girl’s donation project aims to help Ukrainian refugees

A sixth-grader in London, Ont., Has launched a donation campaign at her school to help raise supplies for Ukrainian refugees, including hygiene products, clothing, backpacks and school supplies.

“I feel great, I just love helping people. It’s my passion,” said Mehr Malhotra, a student at Sir Arthur Currie Public School.

All proceeds went to Ukraine Help Middlesex, a volunteer organization that creates welcome baskets for refugees arriving in London and surrounding communities. The donation action started on June 6 and lasted for a week.

The idea for the project came after Alexandria Hessel, Malhotra’s literacy teacher, gave her students a task in which they could research and write about anything they wanted. Students also had the opportunity to take action and implement their ideas.

“With her passion for political and social issues, I knew we had a creator of change in our environment,” Hessel said.

Hessel said that Malhotra has always been interested in current events and that she strongly thought about keeping the class up to date on what is happening in political issues. For another class assignment, Malhotra wrote a letter to Putin to stop the war.

When the school librarian helped Malhotra find out about a group that makes welcome baskets for Ukrainian refugees, Malhotra decided that was what he wanted to focus on.

a photo of supplies such as toothpaste, backpacks, classroom sanitary items.
Sir Arthur Currie Public School students donated various items throughout the week as part of a fundraiser to help Ukrainian refugees. (Submitted by Alexandria Hessel)


Malhotra made about 15 flyers that hung around the school, which included a list of things people could donate.

Nichole Lovell, a member of the committee working on creating welcome baskets, was surprised to see that the total amount filled her SUV trunk. She said the whole experience was surprising and emotional.

“I think that often as adults, we may not know, we understand that children watch and listen to what is happening in the media and around the world,” she said.

“I just thought it was such a selfless act of this kid, to realize that a really terrible thing is happening in the world right now, and she had predictions to put something together and collect these donations.”

Pupil Mehr Malhotra stands with her teacher Alexandria Hessel in front of an inscription she says
Alexandria Hessel, a teacher at Sir Arthur Currie Public School, helped her student Mehra Malhotri make a donation action. (Alexandria Hessel right, Mehr Malhotra left) (Submitted by Sue Bruyns)

“I think this is just the beginning of the amazing things he will do in this world. I shine with pride,” Hessel said of his student.

Malhotra said that her passion is helping other people, something she plans to continue doing.

“I want to do this when I’m older, so I’m happy to have started now,” she said.

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