help for Ukraine

Maryland Friends Help Ukrainian Family Find a Home

"We had no idea what our future was going to hold for us and we are really in awe of how many people came through"

NBC Universal, Inc.

A group of friends in Maryland with ties to Ukraine pulled together to make sure a Ukrainian family who escaped to the U.S. has a roof over their heads.

Anna and Sergei Bodak and their two sons fled their home in Kyiv two days after the Russians invaded.

"We were not actually thinking about what the future is going to hold for us. Our main focus was to get the kids out of the country to get to a safe place," Anna Bodak said.

As their country was being destroyed, the family travelled west to Poland, then flew to America, where their youngest son has citizenship.

"We came to the United States without any understanding of what was going to happen. We had no idea what our future was going to hold for us, and we are really in awe of how many people came through," Sergei Bodak said.

Faina and Arkady Stepensky, Ukrainian immigrants themselves, are some of the people who came to their aid.

As the Stepenskys watched the invasion unfold, they told themselves if they could help a family they would.

"Somebody helped us when we came. Now, it's our turn to help somebody else," Faina Stepensky said.

Enter Steve Wasser, a Montgomery County resident and the son of a Ukrainian immigrant.

"I called Faina and said, 'How can I help?' and she said, 'We need an apartment,'" Wasser said.

The Bodaks signed the lease Thursday.

"We’re going to find a way to house other people, and we are going to find a way to help out and, hopefully, there are people all over the country to do the same thing," Wasser said.

The Bodaks said they hope to return to rebuild their country one day, but their children’s needs come first.

"I want them to be healthy, first of all. I want them to be happy, and I want them to be educated, and I want them to be free," Anna Bodak said.

"It's very difficult to express in one word, but God is in our life. Nothing is impossible in life, and dreams do come true," Sergei Bodak said.

For more information on how to help the Bodaks or to help other families you can email Steve Wasser at swasser728@gmail.com.

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