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“After the war started, in the city where she lived in the south part of Ukraine, the situation was not so bad. Unfortunately, the day before Easter, she was in her apartment on the ninth floor, when a bomb exploded [pictured] between the third and fifth floors. While pregnant, she needed to run from the ninth floor, and her husband was not home at the time. There was smoke everywhere. She couldn’t see. When she made it outside, she saw a lot of people injured. Some were dead—even a three month old girl died. There were broken cars and fires everywhere. It was ridiculous, a very hard situation.
Of course after that, they couldn’t live in the building, so she moved to Romania—it’s close to Ukraine, and a lot of volunteers came to help people from Ukraine there. Her husband is still in Ukraine, since any man under 60 cannot move from the country, unfortunately. Here we have family, but having the extra family and the new baby makes it difficult with money.
Our lawyer from the Ukraine United program told us about Catholic Charities. You helped a lot. The people who work here did everything for us. They helped us apply for Medicaid, helped with the application and interview, and call us often to see what we need. They did a lot for us—help with the baby, food assistance, everything. We really appreciate it. You are all so helpful who work here. We are very happy! God bless you! Thank you for everything you are doing for people!”
Olena, who has been in the United States for 10 years, shared how her sister, Svetlana, fled the war in Ukraine while seven months pregnant. Baby Helena was born earlier this month.