GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The destruction in Ukraine feels like a hopeless situation but for Ward Bacon, he saw that as an opportunity to act.
“Other than being a math teacher I’m also a property manager so my thoughts went towards giving people places to live,” said Bacon, a Green Bay West Math Teacher.
The United Nations estimates one-quarter of Ukraine’s population has been displaced and 5 million of them have left for other countries.
Bacon explained, “We came in with the original idea of trying to find three families that we can find an apartment for.”
He started this project and his only financial backers were himself and his wife, now it’s growing and strangers are contributing.
“A woman came in and donated a thousand dollars today,” recalled Bacon. “A complete stranger. Someone I’ve never met.”
Bacon said generous donations like that grew his project to what it is now.
“We have six families that we already have put in apartments and then we have two others that have apartments that were given to them rent-free and they just needed help with the utilities,” said Bacon. “So for those two families, we’re going to do the utilities for a year.”
Jim Kampa, a Counselor at Green Bay West praised his colleague and said, “The key is that Ward’s there. He’s helping real people in real-time. And there’s no overhead with him.”
Anya Entringer, the French Club President lead an effort to raise $280 just by selling crepes. She said, “It makes me feel good that there are people within our community that are helping people that are struggling.”
Bacon said the goal is to get these families started financially so they have a chance at success in the future.
“These families, once they’re on their feet maybe six months in maybe they’ll pick it up and carry the ball from there,” said Bacon. “If that’s the case it gives us the opportunity to take care of another family.”
Bacon said he is not stopping here. He’s looking to create permanent change in the future. If you want to donate just head to any Capitol Credit Union and make a donation to “Ward Bacon’s Mission to Poland.”