STELLA N.C. (WNCT) – It’s been over a year since the Ukrainian-Russian war first broke out. Now one couple in Eastern North Carolina is doing what they can to help.
Two sisters are making a home here in ENC after fleeing their war-torn hometown of Odessa in Ukraine.
One sister, Kate Zherdestka, arrived in Stella last week, traveling from a nursing home in Ireland where they were originally staying.
“Then I actually realized that I did it, like I’m here,” said Kate. “The USA is the country where you always see in the movies and all the places and I would like to be there myself.”
Kate’s sister, Daria, should arrive in the U.S. soon.
Although she’s happy to be safe, she is concerned for her family overseas, as her father is assisting the Ukrainian army.
“When you’re going to the Moldova border from Odessa, you need to cross the bridge. We crossed the bridge and 15 minutes later, I saw in the news that the bridge was bombed,” said Kate.
She’ll be staying with the Curley family, who are sponsoring them until they can get settled on their own.
“We need assistance with transportation, we need assistance with good paying jobs or you know something that they can have a living wage that they can actually set themselves in the community,” said Patrick Curley.
The couple was connected with the women through Welcome U.S., trying to do anything they can to aid Ukraine.
“My wife and I have been watching the news, we’ve been watching what’s going on, and it’s just, you see the horrible pictures from Ukraine and the tragedy of you know, the citizens who are victims of this and we kept saying there’s got to be something you can do,” added Patrick.
The sisters will be here for at least the next two years, hoping to get college degrees and bring the rest of their family here.
“I want my parents to have a good retirement and to live in a good environment, so I would like to say and bring them here and give them a happy life,” said Kate.
If you’re interested in donating to a GoFundMe to help the sisters, click here.