Art books

WNEU students meet the family of a local Ukrainian children’s book artist

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Local students studying abroad got to hear first-hand the tragedies of war in Ukraine.

Olena Stasuik visited Western New England University students at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. Her husband Max is a Ukrainian artist, he illustrates children’s books sold by the Spirit of Springfield. The proceeds from the book “Little Frog and the Bright Lights” are used to support his family who had to flee Ukraine because of the war.

Olena, their 2 children and her aunt all live with a friend in Italy. Max, was forced to stay in Ukraine. When Olena learned that the local Western Massachusetts group was coming to Italy, she wanted to meet with the students, their teacher Brenda Garton Sjoberg and John Sjoberg, president of Spirit of Springfield, to thank them for all the support they have received.

“In no time, we sold over 1,000 of these books and sent all the money to the Stasiuk family to help out in a very small way. For us, it wasn’t about the money. This was about serving, showing our love and support for you. We wish we could do more. John Sjoberg, President of Spirit of Springfield

100% of the profits from “Little Frog and the Bright Lights” go to the Stasiuk family.


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