Today I am doing something I never did before - I am asking for help. Not for me, but for a family that are close friends of mine.
On February 24 when the war started in Ukraine, Mariupol, the city I am from, was not hit hard. Most of the people hoped to wait it out. However, things got very bad very quickly. Victoria and her two 13-year-old sons lived in besieged Mariupol for fourteen days, staying in their basement. Ukrainian soldiers got there just in time to urge the family to leave the area, warning about the risk of it being bombed soon.
Victoria's family house was completely destroyed right after they left.
When you look at their picture, imagine a family, maybe even similar to yours. Victoria and her husband, Oleksandr, loved to take their kids to Western Ukraine to see the mountains. They loved hiking and exploring nature together. They also loved their jobs, and they planned vacations. They helped the people around, they took in maybe even too many stray cats. Their kids went to the same school that my daughter went to. Not only their house, but their dreams, way of life, future that they planned, all of that was destroyed, burnt to ashes.
Right now Victoria and her children are on their way to Poland, while Oleksandr is going to defend Ukraine, so that his family has a country, a place to come back to.
Victoria and the kids hope to get on the plane to Canada when they reach Poland. As they have nowhere else to go, my family and I are doing what we can to help. We will be buying plane tickets, we already are arranging our house to host the family of three. We will help them settle - find a school for the children, a job for their mother, and, when they are ready, we will help find a place to rent. However, Victoria's family has nothing but their documents and the clothes they had on when they left the house. With everything my husband and I can and will provide, financial help is still needed for the family that was forced to start from scratch.
If you are willing to help Victoria and her children, I appreciate it a lot. Any amount matters. We will keep everyone updated, share receipts for all the purchases, and report whatever cannot be shown on a receipt. A huge thank you for any help!