Ukraine

‘My Home Destroyed': Ukrainian Couple Escapes War Torn County, Finds Refuge in Orange County

A Ukrainian couple was taken in by a friend in a one-bedroom apartment in Orange County.

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The death and destruction happening right now in the city of Mariupol is heartbreaking for Vlada Mykhailneko because it's her hometown.

She and her husband Mykola escaped the violence and are safe in Southern California, thanks to a friend.

"I can't believe that my city is destroyed," she said. "Everything is destroyed, my home destroyed."

They flew about two days from six countries, landing in Canada where friends met them took them to America. They're staying with a friend in a one-bedroom apartment in Orange County.

They're grateful for a home. But with a baby due in July, the couple desperately needed more room.

As luck would have it, the woman they were staying with happened to be friends with Kim Passaro's daughter.

"And I said, 'You know what? Just bring them on up here and we will meet them," she said. "My husband and I met with them and fell in love with them immediately."

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Last month Passaro and her husband, Perry, began hosting the Ukrainian couple at their Fullerton home.

Unfortunately the Passaros can only host the couple until June because they have family coming to stay with them.

So Kim is raising money for the couple on gofundme. She is also asking others to take a look at a website called Ukraine Take Shelter, and consider signing up to be a host for a Ukrainian family.

"It's really opened my eyes. I'm living with so much more gratitude now. It's been a blessing to have them."

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