From pastries to t-shirts: how women’s volleyball is raising relief funds for Ukraine

The women’s varsity volleyball team at Henninger High School in Syracuse finds creative ways to raise money for war-torn Ukraine. They started with a bake sale, which raised $400. Now coach Michelle Polsin said they were selling t-shirts.

“The shirts say ‘Slava Ukraini.’ In Ukrainian, it means ‘glory to Ukraine.’ A local Ukrainian told me the phrase originated in the early 1900s during one of their first revolutions to break away, and it stuck..”

Toluwanimi Fajolu/Newhouse School


Photography for the media

Henninger High School students Ali George, Rebecca Cowles, Daylisia Castro-Felder and Natalie Cangemi sell t-shirts to security guards Lewis Sharp and Jeremy Hemingway at a student fundraiser on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. ( Photo by Toluwanimi Fajolu/Newhouse School )

Polsin told WAER News that the team has a clear connection to Ukraine.

“The photographer who gives his time to my team and does a professional photo shoot every year is Ukrainian. He and I became friends. My daughters wanted to do this to pay him back for all he does for us.


Henninger High School fundraising t-shirt.

The photographer will send the money to the Ukrainian American Youth Association. Polsin said it’s part of her mission to make sure her athletes are more culturally aware, which isn’t too difficult at a school that has students from more than 160 countries. Rebecca Cowles, Junior and Volleyball Team Member, What happens in Ukraine can happen almost anywhere.

“They didn’t ask for that. If we can do that, we can show all the support we can. That’s really what we’re trying to do.

Cowles said they’ve already sold out several shirts in just a few hours. Anyone wanting a jersey can email Coach Polsin at [email protected]

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