Wake Forest’s mother describes everyday life as she tries to help the family in Ukraine

WAKE FOREST, NC (WNCN) – It is an agonizing time for North Carolinians who have loved ones in Ukraine.

A Wake Forest woman told CBS 17 it’s hard for her and her family to watch the news and wait to hear from her parents, grandmother and cousins.

“My family was fortunate at this point to only spend a few times at the shelter and in their basements. Others are not so lucky,” said Olena Kozlova-Pates.

The Wake Forest mother was born and raised in Ukraine, came to the US for college and stayed in the country.

She is horrified to see the destruction in her homeland.

She is now trying to help her children understand the news.

“We were under full-scale bombing and occupation attempts,” Kozlova-Pates said. “(My kids) are trying to connect with their grandparents, but they can’t because there’s no connection.”

She also refuses to sit idle for updates.

“As long as I hear from my people and I know they’re safe, and as long as I hear from my friends and other parts of Ukraine and (know) they’re safe, I think I’m fine. said Kozlova-Pates. “I just have to go to work.”

Family of Olena Kozlova-Pates (provided by Kozlova-Pates).

Her work tries to help her family and friends from far away.

She told CBS 17 that some of them are joining the fight, even as civilians.

“These are not military or reservists,” said Kozlova-Pates. “Those are just civilians. Men and women queuing to receive their orders to protect their homes.”

To make sure they have everything they need, she gathers supplies to send to the Polish border.

“Volunteers set up these drop-in centers there where we can take our supplies,” Kozlova-Pates said. “Then they can hand them out and decide which is which.”

She traveled to Wasington, DC on the last weekend of February to raise awareness for more American aid, financial support and official refugee status for Ukrainians.

“The sooner the better because the refugees are coming out and the numbers are increasing,” she said.
Kozlova-Pates said she is inspired by her loved ones who are fighting for their freedoms.

“I’ve always been inspired by, by my heritage, by my culture, by my ancestors. So, it’s always been inspirational to me, but what it was now is certainly something I’ve never seen in my entire life,” she said.

Two trucks with supplies are already on their way to Warsaw.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wake-county-news/wake-forest-mom-details-day-to-day-life-trying-to-help-family-in-ukraine/ Wake Forest’s mother describes everyday life as she tries to help the family in Ukraine


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