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Utah man travels to Poland to help Ukrainians fleeing their country

Burt, Spencer
Fox 13

Intending to help Ukrainians fleeing their country, a Utah man recently arrived in Poland to help shuttle refugees once they cross the border.

Along with his group of friends dubbed “The Happy Band,” Michael Kezele, a student from Brigham Young University, has been renting vans to help move refugees into hotels after they safely cross into Poland.

Kezele was spending time in Thailand with his wife’s family before he decided to fly over after seeing one of his friends post on Facebook about helping Ukrainians at the border. Kezele had served a mission for the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints in England alongside the friend who posted to Facebook.

Raising enough money to rent vans and book hotels, Kezele and his group of friends drove across Europe to take refugees, many of whom had left their husbands, fathers, and brothers behind to fight in the war, wherever they needed to go. Many Latter-day Saints offered their homes to those who had no place to go.

The Happy Band received permission from the Polish government to help refugees crossing into their country. Kezele described his travels with the refugees, explaining that he and his friends used Google Translate to communicate as they shared stories and jokes.

As of now, donations have allowed the group to drive refugees around without cost concerns. Kezele is set to return to Utah this Wednesday, but the Happy Band group will keep going to help whoever may need it.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.