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Raymondville family shelters Ukrainian families fleeing from war

2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, May 16 2022 May 16, 2022 May 16, 2022 12:35 PM May 16, 2022 in News - Local

A Raymondville family is helping two Ukrainian families who left almost everything back in their country to seek refuge in the U.S.

Channel 5's Stefany Rosales spoke with those families who are hoping to settle down and start a new life here.

"They killed civilian people," said Olga Berezuik. "They destroyed our houses and different infrastructural objects, hospitals, and we decided that we should find safe place for our son, for us.”

Berezuik says she found out about a foundation that was helping Ukrainians get into the U.S.

“It was a very difficult decision because really we didn’t know what to do exactly,” Berezuik said. "Everything we had, we left in Ukraine. Our relatives. Apartment. Car, dog, colleagues. Everything.”

The foundation helped connect her to the Studebakers who live in Raymondville.

“They were hit hard with the war and us watching the news every morning hit us hard, as well, because we knew we had to do something for them,” said Annie Studebaker.

The Studebankers decided to offer not just Olga’s family a place to stay, but also Illia, who took the journey with his wife and their two daughters.

With the help of Verita World Foundation, they were able to make it happen.

Alex Shchekin, founder of the Verita World Foundation, says the families are able to cross into the U.S. with a one-year humanitarian parole with the government allowing some families in on a case-by-case situation.

The Studebakers say they will allow the families to stay as long as needed.

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