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Jayhawks Give Back

Jayhawk volunteers near Ukraine Border

During the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, one Jayhawk was able to make the long trip to lend a hand. 

Scott Sloyer, ’83, volunteered for 11 days with World Central Kitchen, a non-profit founded in 2010 that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. Sloyer is familiar with their work.

“I had worked with them in New York City in 2020 at the beginning of [the COVID-19 pandemic] to help feed 4,000 nurses, so I was a big fan of theirs,” Sloyer says.

Sloyer’s work began in Przemysl, a Polish town just off the Ukrainian border. There, he and other volunteers spent long days collecting, preparing and distributing meals, snacks, and essential supplies to refugees coming across the border.

“We started at 8 a.m. everyday until 9 at night and had a 20 foot tent that was 50 meters from the Ukraine border,” Sloyer says. “We served sandwiches and fruit in the mornings and then a hearty hot meal at noon and again at 5:30 to the refugees that were coming both ways. Mostly women and children as the men stayed to fight.”

Sloyer paints a solemn picture, one that gave him all the motivation he needed during the long days.

“The environment was quite dire, people seemed to be in a daze, not knowing what was next,” Sloyer says. “Children looking around wondering ‘what are we doing….where is dad…..why can’t we go home.’ We are really quite sheltered here in the US to this kind of sadness. The only thing that brightened my day was that I took thousands of Tootsie Pops to hand out to children all day which seemed to bring a bit of joy, at least for a moment.”

Jayhawks who want to learn more about or support World Central Kitchen and their mission can visit their website, wck.org.

Our Jayhawks Give Back program, presented by Andrew Wymore, Realtor, celebrates ’Hawks who are making a difference in ways big and small. Each quarter, we’ll feature a member of the KU family and their story. If you know a Jayhawk who should be featured in Jayhawks Give Back, let us know!

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