A former OC teacher uses coloring books and crayons to help brighten the lives of Ukrainian children

By Rachel Brown

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LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (KABC) – A former Laguna Woods teacher wanted to do something to help the people of Ukraine. So he went on a mission to Poland, armed with pencils and coloring books.

It was a small gesture, but one that had a huge impact.

In March, Mike Wilson and his wife felt depressed watching the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He wanted to do something.

“In the morning, I just woke up. I looked at my wife and said, “I’m going. And his famous thing was, ‘Where are you going?’ I said ‘I’m going to Ukraine’,” Wilson said.

The 71-year-old flew to Krakow, Poland.

“A light went out, I said I had found what I could do to help. So I went to the store. I found out where the crayons and coloring books were. They said how many would you like? I said give me everything you got,” Wilson said.

He has started distributing hundreds of coloring books at train stations and bus stops, where refugees wait anxiously to find out their next destination. The images show children smiling as they pose with their brand new books.

The gifts brought tears to the eyes of mothers and fathers who had to quickly abandon their homes and leave everything behind. So far he has made two trips.

“I still believe that America is the greatest country in the history of the world, and it made me so grateful that I was able to do something from my heart to their hearts,” Wilson said.

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