Alina Kurylo
May 22, 2024

Everyone knows that a birthday is the ultimate excuse to start a whirlwind of excitement, right? Well, Svitlo didn't miss out on such a golden opportunity to throw a spectacular celebration, packed with all sorts of goodness. So, fasten your seat belts, and let me tell you about what happened on the 12th of March!

Picture this: an event held for volunteers, team members, sponsors, and anyone keen on joining the school community. Yuliya, the mother of Svitlo, shared insights from the event that took place in the Shard, located in the heart of London. And as if that wasn't fancy enough, guests were treated to the finest Ukrainian wine – talk about class!

Did you know..?

The Shard isn't just any old building; it's an icon of London! Standing tall and proud, it's the tallest building not just in the UK but in all of Western Europe, reaching a mind-boggling 309.6 meters high! Now, that's what I call reaching for the stars!

Now, let's return to the main event. According to Daria, a member of the school's team: "...Yuliya spoke about the impact we have on the lives of students, about how Svitlo changes the lives of everyone involved, about our successes, about our plans for the year, such as trips for children to camps and much more..."

But the students weren't about to let the grown-ups have all the fun. They made a heartwarming video about what Svitlo means to them. It deeply touched everyone present!

But hey, the party didn't stop there! Oh no, siree! We threw in a fundraiser for good measure, because why not? Attendees had the opportunity to donate in various ways, such as buying school merchandise or participating in a raffle or blind auction to purchase a painting created by one of the school's trustees depicting the Ukrainian landscape. 

What is..?

Merchandise? Ah, yes, the delightful goodies that make your eyes sparkle and your wallet tremble! Wonderful t-shirts and sweatshirts, after all, merchandise is the spice of life that you just can't resist.

Now, let's talk raffles – the ultimate thrill ride for the charitable at heart! Picture this: people buying tickets with numbers that could lead to a jackpot of prizes. It's all in the name of a good cause, for sure! You buy in, you cross your fingers, and if Lady Luck is on your side, you walk away with the grand prize. 

And what about blind auctions? Oh, this is where the real adrenaline kicks in! A room full of eager bidders, each armed with sealed bids and a hunger for victory. It's a high-stakes showdown where secrecy is key – nobody knows who's bidding what! It's like a thrilling game of cat and mouse, where the highest bidder reigns supreme and walks away with the ultimate prize.

Oleksandra, another member of the Svitlo team, shared her impressions: "... It was obvious that what Svitlo does has an impact not only on the students but also on the people with whom it cooperates. There was a lot of positive feedback from teachers and partners, and many kind words were said about the school and students, about how they inspire and motivate. In general, it was a very, very good event, with a mega pleasant atmosphere and interesting people who attended it…"

Alison, the volunteer teacher, also shared her thoughts with us: “...For me, it was wonderful to meet face-to-face so many people that  I feel are my Svitlo friends: Yuliya, Daria, and the lovely volunteers who were able to be there. Even though Svitlo was born out of a terrible time, it reminded me of how much goodness and light there is. And watching London light up from the 23rd floor of the Shard felt like a metaphor for the light that Svitlo shines…”

Christine, another wonderful volunteer, also shared her comments: “ …. The evening was such a wonderful opportunity to meet the family of Svitlo in person.  I have gained much more than I could have ever imagined from this journey - to anyone who can afford to give their time and energy to this marvelous school I would say, please join us, these hardworking, committed, and inspirational students are an absolute joy and deserve all the time and care we can share…”

So, from the bottom of our hearts, Svitlo wants to shower each and every one of you – teachers, sponsors, students, and parents – with heaps of gratitude! Without your support and love, none of this would be possible! Thank you for spreading joy and lighting up the world! We love you, Svitlo!