Sunday, March 20, 2022

Help Ukrainian Refugees

Dear friends and readers,

I am grateful to each of you who read and reached out to me with comments and messages, sharing your feelings, thoughts and stories regarding my last post STOP THE WAR IN UKRAINE. I know that wrapping one's head around politics isn't everyone's cup of tea at the best times, not to mention the times of darkness and true tragedies, when unthinkable things happen, such as now. I understand the desire to look the other way, but the naked truth is that whether we look at this horrible wound done to Ukraine and humanity by greedy, bloodthirsty politicians of Russia, or not, the wound is still there. 

The first couple of photos look just like another family reunion or a company picnic, don't they? The truth is that it's Dream Land, a summer camp in Western Ukraine, which is now transformed into a refuge camp by the very kind and caring people who run Dream Land. And people you see on these photos are those regular Ukrainian citizens who arrived here to escape from the horrors happening in their home towns in other Ukrainian regions. The photo above is just one of the cars arrived there. You can see the bullet holes all over it. Sadly, the green corridors created especially for peaceful citizens to move out of danger zones, don't always work. Very often, people leave their hometowns in a hurry and under bullets. And not everyone survives. 

Never in my life have I written about war. And never in my life have I thought that I would write about war. I really don't know how to write about it - I am not a trained journalist, and war isn't a topic that ever interested me. Even in my native language, I have difficulties writing about war. All I know is I cannot be silent seeing all these horrors happening to peaceful people. Seeing children being killed. What kind of a monster one has to be to let it happen and find reason for it? The news of war is unbearable. But I know that my wounded soul can heal its wounds by helping others - those who really need our help right now. As you know, my good friend Irina started her own fundraiser to help families with children directly. Very quickly, Irina reached her goal of raising $10,000! This money helped several families to start their new life in a few European countries. Irina is doing an amazing job, and she also posts updates about her fundraiser - you can read them and see more photos of real people who received assistance. But Irina isn't stopping there and has a new goal now of raising more money to help refugees. At the moment, she is assisting Dream Land, and this really feels like the hand of fate. In the process of sending money, Irina discovered that one of the camp organizers is her neighbor in Kyiv (Kiev in Russian tradition) - she literally grew up in the building next to where he lives now! It truly is amazing since Irina and her family have lived on another continent for over 20 years now, and Kyiv isn't a small town (3 mln population).

Please consider donating to Irina's fundraiser to help Ukrainian refugees directly!

In my PREVIOUS POST, you will also find other fundraisers (including both Ukrainian funds and global humanitarian organizations), as well as a petition to sign to allow Ukrainian refugees in the US. On the photos above, Irina's own family support their home country Ukraine in Denver, Colorado. Many people around the world combine their efforts to help people by working directly with refugees (providing housing, food, transportation and all the necessities), donating money, sending medical help, signing petitions and letters to authorities. I am proud of my friends and all the people who contribute to this case. I know there are fundraisers who help pets (so many of them are suffering during this terror too!). Truly, there are many ways to help. In pretty much every American town you will find organizers who will tell you exactly what help they need (search for Ukrainian/Slavic churches, schools or cultural centers). We all chipped in - Justin, Anya and I. Every voice matters, and any help is very welcome. Please, if you haven't signed the petition below, consider doing so and spread the word about it among your friends and family, as well as my friend's fundraiser!

Photo from the website



  1. Dear Natalia, a couple, friends from Sarah and my son-in-law have taken refugees into their house. Yesterday we handed in clothes, money, vouchers and food there. Also for other Ukrainian refugees. We all have to do something to help. 💕
    Please keep reporting.

    1. Dearest Tina, I feel very grateful to have friends such as yourself! Thank you for being such a compassionate and thoughtful person who also raised compassionate children. Thank you for everything you do!!! Love, Natalia

  2. I've read your latest posts, dear Natalia, and can't express strongly enough my feelings of solidarity and would like to send you hugs and love!
    It's being difficult to deal with the overwhelming images of the war and children and horror, really difficult to keep a positive attitude. But I'm collaborating with some friends to bring some young people safely to Spain, where authorities are giving them support. Spanish people are being really supportive, lots of them offering a home for any refuggees, probably because most of us have memories of our grandparents telling us about war and dictatorship and even having to let their homes carrying just a case. People's solidarity is making me feel better.
    Hugs, dear Natalia!

    1. Dear Monica, I am so touched by your empathic response and kindness! Thanks to you and your friends, and people like you the world is a better place and we still have hope! And I know that those of us who remember stories about the WWII from our own families, perhaps can feel this disaster on a deeper level. Your country knew dictatorship as well, which makes it easier for people to understand what Russians went through in the past 100 years (with a short break through in the 1990s). Thank you, my dear! Hugs to you!

  3. Dear Natalia,
    I haven't gotten in touch with you for a long time, but today I would like to write you a comment again. Because I think it's very important that this topic isn't ignored in our leisure fashion and fun blogs either. I was particularly touched that so many children died in this war in such a short time. It is really sad that there are always politicians who get intoxicated by greed for power and greed for natural resources etc. and cause so much suffering.
    I think it's great that you are reporting about the camp and the effort to help the Ukrainian refugees. There was also a Ukraine aid event in our small town recently, and there are Austria-wide aid funds, declarations of solidarity, taking in refugees, etc. Of course we made donations and will continue to stay in touch with the organizations.
    All the best and hugs from Austria,

    1. Dear Traude, I am touched by your comment as I am always touched by deeply caring people such as yourself. Thank you for adding your voice to this cause and for all your help. The war continues, and the volunteer continue their work as well. My friend Irina and her family are flying from the US to Poland to help refugees right there, in addition to their fundraiser. I am so proud of them.