Like so many of us, Lancaster High School Junior, Brianna Forzani is seeing the devastating images coming out of war-torn Ukraine.
“A picture that tugged at my heart strings was the little boy walking from Ukraine to the Poland border. That really just left me heartbroken,” said Brianna Forzani. ” I knew after I saw that, that I needed to do something, that I could do something, to be the change in this community.”
Be the change you wish to see in the world is a common phrase. What’s not nearly as common, is seeing a 16-year-old put change into motion.
“She came to me one day and said she had an idea of how she wanted to fundraise and she was very passionate about it,” said National Honor Society advisor, Lisa Granhert-Mullen.
Brianna saw that Early Bird Bakery and Cafe in Lancaster was selling Ukranian flag cookies, on social media. The owners and mother-daughter duo, Kathy and Nicole Kisiel were donating all proceeds to the Save the Children, an organization specifically helps children in times of world crisis.
“So we called her and asked if she’d be willing to do a partnership with us and she said yes immediately and loved that we could get this idea on a bigger scale,” said Forzani.
Brianna held an in-school cookie drive, raising $1,500 dollars, but that was just the beginning.
She also sold Ukraine bracelets and pins. She then held another drive at the Lancaster Youth Bureau, selling around a thousand more cookies and bringing the grand total to $6,000 dollars.
“I felt overjoyed by all the support in my community,” said Forzani. “I mean yes, I can orchestrate the whole fundraiser but it takes the community to step up and make the difference.”
Brianna will also be donating all proceeds to save the children.
“I hope it really makes a difference in the lives of the struggling Ukrainian children and I really hope that it provides relief for them, in any way possible,” said Forzani.
If you’d like to donate head here.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.