HOUSTON – One 10-year-old is making a difference in bringing needed medical supplies to Ukraine.
Sebastian Blachno has spearheaded efforts to help Ukrainians in a big way after being inspired while attending a Ukraine rally in Houston with his parents.
“I know that lots of people are suffering because of the war in Ukraine. It is very sad to see little kids suffer in Ukraine, now along with their parents, too. It is heartbreaking to see boys and girls cry when they say goodbye to their dads when their dads go to protect their homes,” said Sebastian. With a Polish father, Ukrainian mother, and many family members across East Europe, the Blancho family partnered with non-profit Medical Bridges’ robust network to address the unmet specialized needs of the war-torn community.
“There were lots of speeches there, and I met the Ukrainian Consul General and he inspired me to help the kids in Ukraine,” Sebastian said. “When I went home, I wanted to help and I asked my parents, ‘How can I help?’ "
So, Sebastian started a fundraiser around the community and at his school Anunciation Orthodox School or AOS of Houston. He also started a separate supply donation drive with his school where parents could donate resources for the children in Ukraine. The 10-year-old appealed to his classmates and families by organizing sales, lemonade stands and speaking engagements.
Soon enough, donations came pouring in.
“It was very sweet of [my classmates] to take money from their piggy banks, actually,” Sebastian said.
Sebastian was able to raise more than $17,000 to buy trauma wound care kits for Ukrainian families and children. Working with non-profit Medical Bridges to pack the donations and medical gear to ship to Ukraine.
“Toys would just make [the Ukrainian children] happy, but I think resources are more important,” Sebastian said. “I really wanted to help. I don’t want the kids to suffer.”
Sebastian’s empathy inspired Medical Bridges to induct him as an honorary member of its advisory board, which the 10-year-old gladly accepted.
Sebastian said he will do everything he can to help Ukrainians, and he hopes other people will be inspired to help too.
“I feel really bad for the kids having to say goodbye to their fathers and being displaced, and I really wanted to help,” Sebastian said. “I think I inspired other people. I would love for them to actually help and do something similiar. I’d be very glad.”
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