Teen Holds Supply Collection Drive for the Ukrainian People

Marina Chernin of Livingston, a high school junior at Newark Academy, has a strong connection to what is happening in the Ukraine. Her mother grew up there and her dad is from Russia, and she has been hearing stories about the rich cultures of both nations since she was little. They have friends still in the region and have heard over the past months directly about the horrors taking place during the invasion—about the destruction of landmarks, homes, and, most importantly, families.

“My mom and my grandparents have been telling me stories about Ukraine for as long as I can remember; I feel a connection to the nation and its people,” said Marina. “When I learned about the innocent people whose lives were being uprooted, I felt I needed to do something to help, to show everyone around me that they could help too.”

When the war began, Marina “felt a moral imperative to help.” She decided to organize a drive to collect supplies to be sent to aid the Ukrainian people. Her collection ran until May 1st, and she received over 1,000 items. She asked for mittens, warm socks, medicine, sleeping pads, blankets and more. “People were so generous,” she said.

She put up posts about her collection on social media and wrote an opinion piece for NJ.com with the drop off delivery location. An article about her collection that ran in the Patch inspired a local preschool to do a collection of their own too.

She said, “It has been heartwarming to see the community come out in full force to support this drive. Everyone has been incredibly thoughtful, compassionate, and generous, and it makes me proud to live in New Jersey.”

Local Heroes