Peterborough’s Ukrainian church has received a donation of 500 toys to send to the children of Ukraine after a 12-year-old boy manged to fundraise £1,000 in a week.
Archie Ruskin bought the toys, which he donated to Saint Olga Ukrainian Catholic Church, on New Road, Woodston, after raising £1,000 by setting up an online donations page and receiving cash donations from his family, friends and neighbours.
His original target was £200, which he managed to raise in just 24 hours.
"He would watch what was happening in Ukraine on the news and noticed children in the background who had been forced out of their homes and didn’t have any toys to play with,” Archie’s mum, Claire Ruskin, 33, said.
"His main concern was how his younger brother, Noah, would feel if he was in their situation. He wanted to donate to the children to give them something to distract them from what was happening around them.”
Archie, who doesn’t have any social media accounts of his own, used his mum’s Facebook account to spread the word about his fundraiser.
He made leaflets, which he posted through the letterboxes of his neighbours to receive additional cash donations.
"It took me by surprise when he first said that he wanted to do something for the children of Ukraine,” Claire said.
"He wanted to do more than just donating clothes.
“On the day he bought the toys from the toy shop, I was glowing with pride. It’s a feeling I will never forget and one I’m proud to have experienced.”
Teddy bears, colouring books, dolls, yo-yos and bubbles were just some of the 500 toys Archie donated to St Olga Ukrainian church.
Peterborough’s Ukrainian church will now donate most of the toys directly to Ukraine.
However, the church will keep some of the toys at the church to give to the children of Ukrainian refugee families now living in Peterborough.