Perrysburg couple hosts refugee family from Ukraine
The family of four arrived at Detroit Metro Airport after fleeing war-torn Mariupol
ROMULUS, Michigan (WTVG) -They’re meeting for the first time, welcoming one another with relief and open arms.
“You know, when the war first started, we just saw the chaos, and we just thought it was so relatable, like, this could be us,” said Kathy Mefferd of Perrysburg. She and her husband Brad went to Detroit Metro Airport Wednesday, May 31, 2023, to pick up the Bidnyk family.
The Bidnyks traveled from war-torn Ukraine, escaping from Mariupol, then setting out on a journey that would eventually bring them to the Toledo area. It was made possible through the organization Toledo Helps Ukraine.
“We saw a story locally that people were coming into Toledo through this Toledo helps Ukraine. So, we contacted Alona and she said, ‘Sure, this is how you do it.’ We decided we have the room, let’s do it,” explained Kathy.
“Kathy saw the news story on TV and we thought well why not? Why don’t we do this? So we set our basement up. We used to have a pool table and a couch and TV and all that. We just moved it all aside and friends loaned us some beds,” added Brad.
The Bidnyks are the 6th family Toledo Helps Ukraine has placed in the area so far this year. The organization expects another 7 to arrive by the end of Summer. They’re all coming to our area with a hope that reaches beyond surviving to starting over.
“Tomorrow, we’ll have a meeting with an advisor and will start the paperwork so they can get some assistance. And then they can start English classes the week after next, and they’ll start looking for work,” said Kathy.
For more information about Toledo Helps Ukraine, click here.
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