Andrew and his family never imagined the conflict in Ukraine would be this bad. As news reports began speculating about a Russian attack, Andrew’s old college friend in the U.S. begged him to get out.
Then, the bombs started falling. Andrew’s family quickly evacuated to a nearby bomb shelter, but they still thought the violence would be short-lived.
Unfortunately, the violence still hasn’t stopped — it’s only gotten worse. Refugees like Andrew are struggling to survive at this very moment, and they desperately need your help.
Watch the video to hear Andrew describe his family’s experience:
The bomb shelter where Andrew’s family hid for several days was beyond uncomfortable. They squeezed into the tight space with 300 other people, sleeping shoulder to shoulder on a cold concrete floor as explosions echoed above all night long.
It was a terrifying sound, especially for Andrew’s two sons. But there was no escaping this nightmare. Each day brought another set of challenges and fears.
Food soon became scarce in the shelter, so Andrew had to find other ways to keep his family alive. He’d wake up at dawn and run to the nearest grocery store … only to wait in line for hours, sometimes behind hundreds of other people.
The wait itself was dangerous. As Andrew or another family member stood in line, bombs continued to rain from the sky. Houses shook from the powerful blasts, and the noise was deafening.
Sadly, those perilous hours spent waiting outside were often for nothing.
By the time they’d reach the front of the line, the rations were nearly gone. Andrew’s family might receive some sugar, but all they could do with that was mix it in water so they’d have something sweet to drink.
Andrew’s family desperately needed food … and they needed to leave the bomb shelter as quickly as possible.
Despite their previous beliefs, they now realize this attack isn’t ending any time soon. Artillery fire was a constant noise, and bombs were dropping every two hours. The enemy was getting closer.
“When you see and hear a plane coming to drop bombs, it was scary,” Andrew said, “because we knew they were targeting residential areas.”
Thankfully, a neighbor agreed to drive Andrew’s family to the train station, so they quickly packed everything they could and left. Every train out of Kharkiv was filled three to four times over capacity, but Andrew, his wife, and two sons somehow managed to squeeze in.
They’re now staying at a host home provided by a local church, where they can rest and receive warm meals.
As for what’s next for Andrew’s family? He has no idea. He admitted that he feels lost, frightened, and very stressed, especially since learning that some of his friends were shot and killed by Russian troops.
“If I lost my family, I don’t know what I’d do,” Andrew said.
Will you help make sure families like Andrew’s survive this crisis? Every $35 you give will provide one week’s worth of lifesaving aid like food, clean water, shelter, and more for one displaced person in Ukraine or another high-conflict area.
It’s too dangerous for refugees like Andrew to return to their homes. They’re on the run with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Please give today to help meet their most urgent needs.
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