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For Anne Frank Elementary School In Northeast Philly, War In Ukraine Hitting Close To Home

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- So many people in the region have been inspired to help the people of Ukraine by donating supplies. But for one school in Northeast Philadelphia, the desire to take action is even stronger, because the war hits close to home.

For many students and staff at Anne Frank Elementary School in the city's Bustleton neighborhood, seeing the devastation and destruction happening in Ukraine is especially painful.

"At Anne Frank, we probably have about 400 students who come from the part of the world that's involved in this conflict," Principal Mickey Komins said. "So they are living it every day through their families, through their parents. In fact, we have a couple of staff members whose parents are caught in Ukraine right now."

"We knew we had to take action," teacher Borislav Ben said. "We knew that when we saw what was happening and the humanitarian crisis and people moving, we knew we had to take action and respond."

Staff members issued a call for donations and it was answered by the entire school community. In a matter of days, families and teachers gathered everything from diapers to blankets, clothing and food.

"It's important because we have a lot of people that are from Ukraine," student Dea Mine said. "They might have grandparents, aunts and uncles and they're in bad conditions over there."

"All these people are all in need and they are out of their shelter so they need food, they need help," student Sahaj Patel said.

And in helping others, teachers at Anne Frank say students are also learning an important lesson.

"A lot of our curriculum is focused on response, responding to a problem and being critical thinkers," Ben said. "So this was a real problem and this was a real way to show our students where and how to respond and how to do it in a way that impacts someone beyond themselves."

Representatives from the Philadelphia School District say all of the donations collected by the staff, students and their family members were gathered and shipped out on Monday.

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