Hrynyuk told the Daily News she’s never experienced anything like Cheer Fund. Where she’s from in the Ukraine, people simply don’t reach out to help one another in such ways.
“This is my first time,” she said. “I love it. I love the opportunity to help someone by helping load boxes and deliver packages. I’m very impressed.”
The young Ukrainian teen was so impressed with Cheer Fund, in fact, she hopes to export the tradition to her homeland sometime after returning home at the end of this school year.
Also among the volunteers Tuesday morning was Greensburg Junior High School 7th-Grader Wyatt Vanderbur, 13, who, for the past three years, has undertaken a mission to support Cheer Fund by decorating Decatur County mailboxes for the holidays. Vanderbur goes door-to-door, offering to decorate mailboxes for the holidays in exchange for a minimum donation to Cheer Fund. In 2013 alone, he raised $435.
Vanderbur’s mother, Amy, told the Daily News that although Wyatt created the mailbox initiative on his own, it takes a family effort to make it work.
“I help him decorate the boxes,” she said, “and grandma helps with getting the decorations together.”
Although Amy’s parents were regular Cheer Fund volunteers and supporters at one time, Amy herself had never participated until Wyatt took on the cause, continuing the family tradition.
Alex Meyer, a 2008 GCHS graduate and a professional pitcher in the Minnesota Twins farm-club system, was also on hand Tuesday morning, cycling through the line, carrying and loading boxes, readying to help make deliveries.
“I’ve been doing this about 10 years,” said Meyer, who currently pitches for the New Britain Rock Cats, out of Connecticut. “It’s so important to help out; everybody’s here, pitching in, and I just want to be with my family and my community. There are so many people who need help and it just makes you feel better, being here with everybody, doing your part.”