Group of orphans from Ukraine gets free shopping spree at local store


A group of Ukranian orphans are here on the Gulf Coast the entire month of August. An organization called Roads of Hope that seeks to stop human trafficking is hosting the 10 children. They say orphans are a major target for it.

From the flight over to a shopping spree today at Souvenir City in Gulf Shores, roads of hope says people in our area are rolling out the red carpet for them.

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"So we take Ukranian orphans, bring them to America and let them spend several weeks with families," said Joe Savage with Roads of Hope.

Savage says it's no longer just a phrase to 9 orphans visiting from Ukraine, it's an experience.

"It was like an urgent call. 'Hey these kids need a place to go, will y'all take them?' We said yes and some people locally were kind enough to buy their plane tickets," Savage explained. "A lot of people, I mean hundreds of people have stepped up, Mobilians and Baldwin Countians, who've stepped up to help and we're so grateful to see everything everybody's doing for these 10 orphan kids."

The orphans made the empty handed but they'll leave with suitcases full.

"They literally got off the plane with nothing, literally nothing because they own nothing. Now here they are today walking around with a basket from Souvenir City, out of the kindness of their heart just said fill it up and we want to give you everything they can," Savage added.

Roads of Hope is an international organization that's working to stop human trafficking, something they say Ukrainians know all too well

"That's ground zero for human trafficking over there. They target orphan kids especially orphan girls and so we try to help kids get out of the orphan system and try to put them into our family type homes that's over there," he explained.

If you want to help at all, Roads of Hope does this 365 days a year. For more information, visit their website at

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Toi Thornton is a Reporter. His Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism comes from Dillard University in 2014 and his Master's degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in 2016. He previously worked as the Fox anchor in Lafayette, LA.

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