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A restaurateur from Utah has taken day without work, so he can ship handmade playing cards to Ukrainian youngsters who’ve fled the battle.
Dirk Astle is proprietor of a Salt Lake Metropolis-located fondue restaurant, The Melting Pot, which is a part of a sequence. Astle felt moved to assist with humanitarian reduction efforts after he noticed members of his church journey to the Poland-Ukraine border and all the great work they’re doing to supply help to refugees.
“I thought I could do this, [too],” Astle wrote to Fox Information Digital in an e mail. “I have frequent flyer miles. I have time in my schedule right now. I should go help.”
He continued, “I could not shake it from my mind. I told a few people and one good friend gave me the advice to always follow the impressions you cannot shake.”
Per week later, Astle booked a flight to Poland and reached out to his pal Jonathan Freedman, who’s the honorary consul for Utah’s Honorary Consulate of Ukraine.
Astle mentioned he provided to move gadgets for Freedman throughout his week-long journey, and that’s when he realized that Utah’s First Woman Abby Cox launched a letter drive to share phrases of encouragement with Ukrainian youngsters who’ve left their lives behind.
“The drawing room table at the governor’s mansion was completely flooded with letters,” Astle advised Fox Information Digital. “I consolidated my gear into a carry-on and checked in two 50-pound bags of letters as my travel luggage. This all happened the day before I left.”
Astle had colourful playing cards with drawings handcrafted by youngsters in his possession. Some have been embellished with illustrations of the Ukrainian flag to suggest solidarity with the nation.
Astle flew to Vienna after which Kraków, a southern Polish metropolis that’s close to the border of the Czech Republic. He arrived within the nation on Thursday, March 24.
One of many luggage Astle checked for his flight reportedly acquired misplaced in Paris, nevertheless it was fortunately recovered and reunited with him three days later.
“It was actually a blessing because I didn’t have to haul both of them through the airport or through customs,” Astle mentioned.
With each luggage lastly in his custody, Astle then traveled about 167 miles east of his lodge to ship the letters and different important reduction items to refugees on the Poland-Ukraine border.
On the border, Astle linked with United Sikhs – a world humanitarian charity that’s affiliated with the United Nations Division of Public Data.
“The group United Sikhs runs a tent immediately across the border into Poland,” Astle wrote. “They are the group authorized to care for children as they come across. So, there is a large section with cots and playthings and warm food. When I told their leader about the first lady’s initiative and the letters I brought [they were] ecstatic.”
Astle hand-delivered a number of letters to households who’re sheltering on the camp.
“The children either clutched them in their hands the whole time or they very carefully stored the picture in their plastic envelope where their crucial travel documents are kept,” Astle recalled. “It’s amazing.”
United Sikhs plans to arrange a reception desk the place youngsters on the camp can “pick up a letter from a friend,” Astle advised Fox Information Digital.
Astle mentioned he joined the church colleagues who impressed his humanitarian journey – Allee and Lance Foster – and he’s serving to them with an on-the-ground shuttle service for refugees.
“Lance runs the coordination efforts for the drivers here,” Astle wrote. “The Foster kids are amazing. They’re fully committed to helping the Ukrainians.”