PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) – A Perrysburg teacher travels to Poland on Friday after launching a fundraiser to help those fleeing Ukraine.
Bill Hilt, a 5th and 6th grade social studies teacher at Hull Prairie Intermediate School, is known for using candy in the classroom to help students learn.
The wall in front of her classroom door is covered with a map of the world with attached candy wrappers from different countries.
“I have a long history of using candy to teach kids about geography and world cultures,” said Hilt, who is in her 29th year as a teacher.
He now involves his students in an effort to help those fleeing Ukraine.
“My first instinct was, ok, I have to do something. What can I do?” Hilt said.
Hilt has strong ties to Ukraine and has visited the country three times, most recently in 2019.
“I have a lot of friends there and they’re hurting, they’re scared and they don’t know what to do,” he said. “I can hardly explain the emotions that have unfolded over the past few weeks. I cracked up several times. »
Hilt decided to start a Facebook fundraiser, and within 7 p.m. he said he had reached his goal of raising $2,500. The money raised is used to buy sweets, which will be placed in care packages and given to students and others in Poland who have fled Ukraine.
“There are people who are like, ‘Really, candy? Couldn’t you use something better?'” Hilt said. some kids who have probably had a really joyless existence for the past few weeks.”
Words of encouragement written by Hilt students in Ukrainian are also included in each care kit.
“It’s just to try to put a smile on a child’s face,” he said.
Hilt also leads the organization, World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio, which has launched a fundraiser for t-shirts to collect donations that will be given to teachers still working in Ukraine to support the social and emotional learning of children. children.
“My first thought was to try to come up with a program, like a toolkit, to give to teachers and youth workers who work with young displaced Ukrainians,” Hilt explained.
Each t-shirt costs $25 and is made in partnership with JupMode.
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