OHIO — A northeast Ohio professor is taking matters into his own hands, helping others travel to Europe to help those affected by war in Ukraine.
Justin Hayes has traveled to several parts of the world. He said he finds rewards by helping people.
“If it’s another meal, whether it’s giving them the option to just wash their face with soap, things that we enjoy here that we don’t really think about,” said he declared.
He recently traveled to Warsaw, Poland as part of a self-funded relief trip to help those injured in war in Ukraine by dropping off supplies.
Hayes balances her humanitarian work while raising a family and serving as an adjunct professor at Walsh University in North Canton.
“The big part is just managing my time,” he said. “Integrate into things that are the foundation of who I am and help others, and my big goal is to help three billion people in my lifetime.”
Hayes launched his organization Voices for voices in 2020. It helps people struggling with mental health issues.
It’s an issue close to his heart, after his own mental health crisis a few years ago, which led to emergency room visits and time in a psychiatric ward.
“Life up until then, it just kept getting harder and harder,” he said. “I really didn’t know how I was really going to go on. And so from that point on, when I accepted that I might need medication, I might need therapy for an extended period of time. He was a big supporter of votes for votes.
Dr. Tim Collins, president of Walsh University, said Hayes’ mission is the example the university wants people to look up to.
“I think it sends a great message [to students]”, Collins said. “In our mission statement at Walsh, we talk about developing leaders, men and women in service to others. Helping others, helping someone who can’t help themselves, someone who can’t even speak for themselves. So when they see the teachers, the staff, the coaches going beyond the normal daily life, taking care of things locally, I think they are inspired by that. It inspires me.
Hayes hopes to set an example that anyone can make a difference with the right mindset.
“Anyone can help anyone,” he said. “Sometimes it can be with money, sometimes with time, sometimes with a listening ear and I think that mindset has been very helpful to me.”