CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Students in the North Country are leading the call to action in supporting Ukraine.

SUNY Canton’s Educational Opportunity Program is leading a fundraiser to collect donations for citizens and refugees combatting the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

EOP Director Walvi DeJesus explained in a press release that this staff and their students chose to contribute as a tribute to the ideals of Arthur O. Eve, a former politician and leader of the SUNY-wide Educational Opportunity Program.

“We have taken the lead on campus to collect needed items for the relief efforts,” DeJesus said. “We put out the call to the SUNY Canton community and have even received local support for this effort.”

According to SUNY Canton EOP Counselor Jessica R. Barstow, students and staff had collected about 40 bags of clothing and added toiletries and other supplies during a two-week drive. A substantial donation was received from Treasures Cove, a thrift store in downtown Potsdam.

“I think after everything we’ve been through as a society that it’s more important than ever to give back when we are able,” Barstow shared. “So many people have volunteered to make this happen. It takes a lot of effort to create the supply chains necessary to get the items to those who can benefit from them.”

To transport the goods overseas to Ukraine, SUNY Canton worked with Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors’ Brenda H. Sipher, who collected the donations and transported them to the Watertown Fairgrounds.

All donations are set to soon make their journey to the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey and then shipped to Poland.