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Ukrainian refugees and San Diego family become one through sponsorship

Ukrainian refugees and San Diego familiy become one through sponsorship.jpg
Posted at 4:38 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 20:19:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Looking at a photo on her phone of the destruction she left behind three months ago, Nadiia Veselova is grateful she and her family are safe in San Diego.

"Everyone had a normal life just one day before the war and after that, in the night it started. It's changed everything," said Vesalova.

She said her daughter's well-being was what led her to make the choice to come to the U.S.

"In Kharkiv, she stopped being a normal kid. She'd just sit on me. She wouldn't be active and didn't want anything," she said.

She said like any parent-she wants what's best for her two-year-old daughter.

"She's running she's happy. She's running now with Callie's son. She likes him so much and she knows now many English words," explained Vesalova.

Callie is her host through Slavic Refugee and Immigrant Services Organization. It's a non-profit that's already helping a hundred Ukrainians settle.

She's helped Nadiia and her family secure housing while they waited months for work permits.

"It's so gratifying that I can do something because I still remember the very first day that the news broke that Ukraine was being invaded and I remember sitting there and just feeling like, 'This is just so horrible. I wish I could do something,'" said Callie Efron, sponsor.

The experience hasn't just been a helping hand.

"I really feel like Nadiia and her family are our family," said Efron.

Vesalova agrees.

She is now excited to look for work because her permit was approved August 1.

"It's wonderful to be sure that you can have payment and you can have a normal life to rent apartments and have everything needed for a family," said Vesalova.

The non-profit said it needs to help seven more families find housing immediately but is working to help 50 to 70.

You can learn more about how you can help here.