Church works to help Ukrainian refugees in Kentucky

Church works to help Ukrainian refugees in Kentucky
Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 4:42 PM EDT
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been more than a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

Thousands of Ukrainian families were forced to leave their homes to find safety. Some have found refuge in Kentucky. However, families are still in need of help to rebuild their lives.

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Nearly 18 months into the war in Ukraine, Tetiana Soloshchuk, a Ukrainian refugee and president of “With Ukraine in the Heart,” spoke on the ongoing issues facing Ukrainian refugees.

“America has come up with a great program called “Uniting for Ukraine.” Without that sponsor family or person, you cannot use or take advantage of this program,” Soloshchuk said.

The need is not necessarily monetary.

“It’s everyday things that people don’t... families with three, four, five, six children coming empty-handed with just one suitcase, so they will obviously need everything to start a new life here,” said Soloshchuk.

Nicholasville is home to a sizable Ukrainian population allowing the community to flourish even in dark times.

“Ukrainians are also very family and very United type people. So as the war came and developed in our country, people, churches, communities came closer together,” Soloshchuk said.

A sentiment local church leader Victor Selepina echoes.

“Since the beginning of the war, a lot of these churches literally became hubs to house people that ran from the front lines, ran from the eastern part of Ukraine,” Selepina said.

Despite how easy it is to lose sight of what is not happening locally...

“As humans, you know, we are getting used to everything. You know, especially if it’s not in our country and directly affecting us,” said Selepina.

Soloshchuk hopes the ongoing support translates into more Americans signing off as sponsors for other Ukrainians.

“We see a lot of people, and they would ask where we’re from, and when we tell them before, they could not point Ukraine on a map, but now they know exactly where it is, what it is, and what’s going on,” Soloshchuk said.

A fundraising page is in the works to help Ukrainian families.