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One family helps another escape the war in Ukraine

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Posted at 11:28 PM, May 30, 2023

BEL AIR, Md. — Mike and Sherrie Woosley were in search of a way to help people in Ukraine battling the ongoing war.

They were able to find a very special way to help one family that was in need of a fresh start.

"It is a lot of crisis going on in the world but this one kind of resonated, and so when we tried to understand what we can do to help, we realized that the U.S. has a humanitarian visa program that would allow us to host immigrant," said Mike.

Through an organization called Welcome Connect, they were able to get in touch with Svitlana, her 15-year-old daughter Kamila, and their neighbor Iryna, who were in need of a new home.

Ukrainians are trying to escape the war zone, but they can’t get to America on their own.

“Even the last 24 hours have been a struggle. Like they said, they waited in Poland for seven hours to get across the boarder, so I think they are exhausted and tired and happy to be here," said Mike.

When they got to Maryland, they were greeted with a home filled with furniture, food, and toiletries—everything they lost when they left their home.

Sherrie says she is proud and thankful for the amount of help and support the community has given to ensure this family would be welcomed into the states.

“We had some people do bigger things but also a lot of people who were like you know I just want to do this small part, so all of those small parts came together into something we never could have imagined," said Sherrie.

The help doesn’t end there.

Now, the two women need help getting jobs and transportation.

Kamila will be starting school at John Carroll as a freshman with Mike and Sherrie’s twin daughters.

WMAR asked Sherrie what her hopes are for them as they continue their new journey in the United States.

“So I don’t know what that means for them, in terms of if they are going to return to the Ukraine if things stabilize there, or if perhaps their paths have changed forever and they are going to be on the path to U.S. citizenship. I’m not sure where this adventure is going to take them, but I respect her desire to take care of her family," she said.

Click here if you are interested in helping the family settle into the United States.