LOS ANGELES - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Elysian Park area is packed with donated goods for Ukraine. There are wheelchairs, childrens’ strollers, crutches, IV poles, toilets, medical supplies, dry food, baby food and so much more.
Julia Stadnik organized this and a number of West Coast Ukranian donation drives for her family's company Meest California Shipping. But, to Stadnik, it’s the volunteers that are at the heart of this drive. She says, "Everybody’s worried about their families that are still back there and can’t get out."
For volunteer Aysa Gorsaa, it’s an emotional time. "I’m here so I can do something cause I can’t just sit home," she said. "I can’t work. I can’t live my life."
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To volunteer Jeff Ezros, it’s all so nerve-racking.
"(It’s) very hard to think clearly just because so much is going on," Ezros said. "You want to help and sometimes you feel helpless just because you can’t do anything. I’m so far away."
Volunteer Natalia Fedner is a fashion designer. She fears for those she knows and loves in Ukraine and those she never met. She says, "Everyday when I’m texting I’m like, please, leave if you can… please try but they’re scared because they’re being bombed."
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While designer Fedner is thinking about fashion week in Los Angeles next week she reflects on a show in Kiev from two years ago in which she designed all the clothes. And, though she’s thinking about next week’s LA fashion week her mind is really a world away in the war-torn country where she was born. And, of the Ukrainian fashion show footage she still has she says, "now, I have to be honest that footage is breaking my heart. You see these beautiful glamorous Ukrainian models with this beautiful Ukraine behind them. It’s kind of heart to accept right because I know they’re all hiding out and scared for their lives."
You can contribute at https://tinyurl.com/Aid4Ukraine.
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