SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (KSTU) — Hundreds of cards and artwork from school-aged children in Utah were stowed on a plane Wednesday and are set to be hand-delivered to children fleeing Ukraine.
Utah’s first lady, Abby Cox, put out a call to action for children to offer friendship and encouragement by way of cards and art.
Dirk Astle was already set to go volunteer in Poland with a church group when he was asked to help.
“They need volunteers that can drive vans from the borders into the main cities, get people into hotels for a night or two, and then onto trains to their main destination in western Europe,” said Astle.
But then Astle was asked a favor from a friend who happens to be Salt Lake City’s Ukrainian consul.
“He actually said the first lady Abby Cox had this initiative where Utah school children were writing letters to Ukrainian refugee children and they had a series of ways to deliver it that fell through,” said Astle.
Dirk agreed to make the delivery personally.
“And I crammed all my stuff into a carry-on and I am checking two bags full of letters from Utah to Ukraine.”
Dirk and his son weighed those bags and found out he will be carrying 100 pounds worth of cards and notes of support on this journey.
Astle knows people in Krakow who are helping to shuttle refugees from the border and will join them by driving a van for the next week, helping strangers in another country.
He says he’s thankful he can take a week off from his job to help out.
“The biggest message from my friends that are there now is that they’re just scared, and so having a friend from Utah that they’ve never met reach out will help the kids and obviously getting them to safety is a big help,” said Astle.
This story was originally reported by Eliana Sheriff on fox13now.com.