Spalding County man helps save orphans in Ukraine

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As the war in Ukraine heads into its 4th week, Georgians have been working tirelessly to save some of the country’s most vulnerable.

Orphans don’t have the ability to flee Ukraine with their families, so a Spalding County man is working with a charity to save as many children as he can.

As many as 100,000 children are in orphanages across Ukraine.

Griffin, Georgia native Coleman Bailey is helping evacuate five orphanages across Ukraine in some of the hardest hit areas.

“We have evacuated four orphanages out of their orphanages into safer areas. Two of them are outside of the country right now,” Bailey says.

He is one of countless Americans rescuing some of the youngest victims of war.

Bailey works for the charity, Serving Orphans Worldwide (SOW). For the last week, the charity has concentrated its efforts in Mariupol, Ukraine, a city decimated by Russian bombs.

Bailey tells CBS46, “with this war there’s just been so much traumatic things happening and that’s broke my heart. Every child that goes into an orphanage is because something traumatic happened in their life.”

With 30 to 40 children in each orphanage, Bailey and SOW are taking care of nearly 300 children a day. But once the orphans are safely evacuated, refugees take shelter in the now empty orphanages.

“Across all of our orphanages, we’re taking care of about five to 600 people every single day. These people come and they’ll stay for about one to three days, they just fled from a war and they’re going to another place,” Bailey says.

Each day with every Ukrainian saved, Bailey says he’s thankful for the peaceful life he has back home in Georgia.

“I think Griffin is the greatest city in the world. You count your blessings, you count your blessings of the family, all the people who’ve loved you along the way and helped you get to where you’re at, you certainly count the blessings,” he says.