Laguna Beach mother, daughter plan humanitarian trip to Poland

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Carly Hodes, 23, of Laguna Beach. Photo courtesy of Marla Hodes

Laguna Beach High School alumna Carly Hodes, 23, and her mother Marla Hodes are fundraising for a trip to Poland where they plan to teach juggling, dancing, and singing to Ukrainian refugee children.

A 25-year Laguna Beach resident, Marla Hodes has read journal entries from a Polish couple, Amber and Paul Kieniewicz, who have housed over 50 Ukrainians at their Sichów estate and vineyard since the start of Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine. The Kieniewicz family has provided them with food, community, and care for children living with disabilities. The Hodes will work with children to create a play that they will perform as part of a small circus.

“Our goal is to provide an artistic outlet for these young souls and encourage lightness and hope during these dark and unprecedented times,” Carly Hodes said.

Donations will go toward travel, costumes, props, set design, and instruments for a band that will play alongside the performers.

The Hodes will leave for Poland on Aug. 15 and return on Aug. 27. Their GoFundMe campaign had raised $775 of a $5,000 goal as of the Independent’s press time. Additional funding for the trip has also been raised privately.

“We’re going no matter what,” Marla Hodes said.

To donate, please visit gofundme.com/f/ukrainian-refugee-circus-magic.

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