Chapura’s adventure in Poland  

BRHS teacher helps supply Ukrainians with life’s necessities


Mr. Chapura helped Ukrainian refugees in Poland during spring break.

Volunteers from around the world distribute goods to refugees from Ukraine.

    During the April spring break,  Mr. Chapura a teacher at Bronx River High School, traveled to southeastern Poland in Europe, shortly after Russia attacked nearby Ukraine. Everyone was in shock  to hear about the war and as time went on, it continued and had gotten worse for the citizens of Ukraine. The Ukrainians were becoming desperate and needed extra help to survive during this time.  

Mr. Chapura had originally planned to tour the area but once he saw how much support was needed to help the Ukrainian refugees, he joined a group of volunteers from around the world.  After a few days of being in Krakow, Mr Chapura met someone who was there for the same purpose and reason. Jonathan Verroen, a Canadian volunteer, had quit his job to help other volunteers. Both Chapura and Jonathan headed to Przemysl, a small city near the border of Ukraine. From there, Mr. Chapura joined a group of volunteers that included teachers, hockey players, truck drivers, retirees and college students. 

Over five days, Mr. Chapura worked or traveled for an average of 15 hours a day, doing various odd jobs with other independent volunteers.
He helped carry luggage for older Ukrainians who arrived in Przemysl by train. He staffed a supply depot that gave out free essential items, like shampoo and clothing, to refugees who did not have them. He manned a tent at the border crossing in Medyka, buying and giving candy and toys to small children. Most often, he worked at a large refugee camp outside of Przemysl, in a converted shopping mall, where more than a thousand refugees slept every night, hoping to arrange travel to other parts of Europe.

This overall experience for Mr Chapura was incredibly impactful and memorable. Even after he had returned back to the United States, he has  continued to  provide support  through his social media, raising more than $2,000 in donations. With the donations,  he bought supplies for refugees and fuel for the vans coming in and out of Ukraine. It’s amazing to know that one of the staff members at BRHS is a hero and can continue to share his experiences with others.

Mr. Chapura, who is back in the classroom now, summed up the experience as “Tense but life-affirming.”