When Russian troops first invaded Ukraine on February 24th, Oksana Zolotukhina and her husband Ivan were forced to flee their hometown due to the surrounding of opposing attacking troops. 

During their fearful escape, they were able to survive by hiding in underground shelters ahead of several sleepless nights bull of bombs and explosions in the area sounding off. Thanks to a past connection, Zolotukhina was able to find refuge outside of Ukraine in the United States, leaving behind everything including her family. 

That is not where this story ends.

Zolotukhina was welcomed into the United States by Marcia and Edward Lebedinski, a couple from Pennsylvania who had previously met them on a trip ten years ago. They offered the Zolotukhinas to stay at their summer house down in Brigantine temporarily as the war was still going on back in Ukraine.

Even though Oksana was thousands of miles away from her country, she still wanted to find a way to help those in need, especially those with disabilities. Therefore with the help of Maria Polillo, Zolotukhina set up an Amazon wishlist with requests of items in need to help those in Ukraine. 

Some of the organizations Zolotukhina is helping are an orphanage home for 100 disabled children boys and girls ages 5 years and older, 2 psycho-neurological internats for disabled women from 18 years and older, foster homes care for children of all ages up to 16, and the Ukrainian Military

So far over 1500 pounds of goods have been shipped to Ukraine. Additionally, the second shipment of supplies is also being hauled, it just has not been delivered to the volunteers to distribute yet.

How can you help? As mentioned, there is an Amazon wishlist where people can donate items such as toothbrushes, medical and cleaning supplies, and other appliances. You can also contact them through email bchbunny1105@comcast.net if cash donations are better.

All donations will be shipped, collected, and sent out to the right organizations of need.

More From SoJO 104.9 FM