Latest update as of May 17, 2024

  • They have arrived!

    It was a very long day, but the family arrived safely in the US yesterday. After an additional three hours getting through immigration and customs, then a three hour drive from Chicago airport to Indianapolis, they arrived at their apartment last night at 11:30pm.

    Thank you to everyone who has helped get them this far. Thanks to your generosity, they have a clean, safe furnished home to start their new life.

    They have arrived!

About this fundraiser

Many of you know I have a heart for giving and for hospitality. In this empty nest season of life I have decided to sponsor bringing a Ukrainian family of four to the US.

Dmytro (39), Lesya (36) and their two children Yarov (12) and Anastasiia (4) of Kyiv, Ukraine.  Lesya is pregnant with their third child and is expecting a baby girl in June.

The Need
This family will be arriving THURSDAY!  They have lost their home, all of their belongings, their sense of security and safety, as well as the ability to provide for their family. When they arrive they will need everything.

Why
I cannot begin to imagine this happening in our country, to me and my family. I can only hope others would step up and help us. If not me, then who? 

In the New York Times, April 16, 2024, Esau McCauley state "Parents of children in Gaza and Ukraine do not have the luxury of deciding whether to tell their young ones of evils done and all the good left undone. Bombs descending from above, indifferent to the innocence of youth, have become their instructors.  I believe we have a moral duty NOT to turn away from such suffering.”  I could not say it any better.

How You Can Help
Monetary donations will help them get their home, utilities, food, household goods and clothing. 

If you prefer not to provide monetary assistance, I have set up a list of households goods they will need. New or gently used items will be GREATLY appreciated. You can reach out to me through email and I can pick them up.

Sign Up to Donate Household Goods

Where the money goes
The goal is to secure and furnish a home for them before they arrive. Once they arrive, they have to apply for social security cards, establish US based credit and find work. They are legal immigrants and are able to work as soon as they arrive. Dmytro drives a truck and is anxious to be able to provide for his family immediately.

The funds I am raising are to support this family for at least the first three months, probably more like 6. I want to be very transparent so people know where the money will go. Here is the budget:

ExpensePer monthMonthsTotal
Rent

1600

3

4800

Utilities

280

3

840

Food

600

3

1800

Household goods

200

3

600

Transportation

500

3

1500

Incidentals

300

3

900

Miscellaneous

200

3

600

   

$11,040

 

About the Process
President Biden created a program to bring Ukrainians safely to the United States through a Humanitarian Parolee program. This program is called Uniting for Ukraine. You can learn more about this program at the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, located here https://www.uscis.gov/ukraine.

WelcomeUS is a non profit organization that pairs US citizens that are interested in helping with refugees that need a sponsor.  You learn more about their program at https://welcome.us/.

WelcomeUS provides matching grants for up to $3000 for any funds I raise for this family, as well as travel assistance money.

Their Story
“Like everyone in Ukraine, we did not believe the news forecasts that war would begin, as it’s the 21st century and an era of political alliances and agreements. But on February 24th at 5:00am, my brother called and said “It’s begun”. I panicked but tried not to show it to the children. We heard explosions and heard the sirens. We lived on the 10th floor of a building where we had bought our own apartment. We could see helicopters flying over Kyiv but did not know if they were ours or Russia’s.

In a hurry, we gathered documents and necessary things for children because we needed to get to a safe place. Looking out the window we saw people everywhere running in panic; some to the store, some to the metro all with bags, backpacks and belongings on their shoulders. Fear was palpable. We packed a suitcase with belongings and backpack with documents, and our two cats and went to my Aunt’s home near the metro, in case we needed to hide there. 

We all sat on our phones reading the news, listening to instructions on what to do. Various channels reported that Russian tanks were in Kyiv. We were very scared.  After spending one night there, we decided to leave Kyiv, it was not safe for the children.

We left Kyiv, taking unpopular routes to avoid any threats. We didn’t take the Zhytomyr highway as it was later reported it was being shelled. We took small village roads. They were all jammed with cars all the way to the border. We travelled 600 kilometers in 22 hours. We tried not to stop. We listened to the radio and periodically there were alarms warning of missile strikes. Looking up at the sky we had to decide whether to proceed or not. We kept moving slowly. Arriving in Western Ukraine to our relatives we felt somewhat calmer.  Whenever there was an alert we down to the basement to take cover. Later, we left for Poland, thinking it would be for two months. It has now been two years. In Poland, the children don’t hear sirens, rockets and bombs. But recently rockets have been landing in Polish territory and have killed Polish citizens.

We believe that in America we will find the safety we lost in our homeland. We will have opportunities for development and self realization, Our goal is not only to save ourselves from the war but to find a place where our children can be safe, and we can live peacefully and happily.”

Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?

WelcomeUS has many great online resources where you can learn about the program, the process, meet other sponsors and decide if this would be a good fit for you. The need is great.

Organized by

Angela Lee

Carmel, IN, USA

Organizer