Romanian family helps 600 Ukrainian refugees find shelter and food: Here's how you can help

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Saturday, March 12, 2022
Romanian family helps 600 Ukrainian refugees find shelter
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A Romanian family and a US-based nonprofit rescue hundreds of Ukrainian refugees, and provided shelter and food as the war with Russia continues

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- More than two million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion. ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena made contact with a family in Romania who's driving to the border and providing shelter for hundreds of refugees.

A convoy of the US-based nonprofit "Save a Life International" meets refuges at the border between Ukraine and Romania.

"We started asking people who had babies come get into our cars. So people started coming. We crammed them. We tried to put families together in our seats. Guys got out of the buses and walked through the border. We brought around 70 women and babies through the border," said Nadia Gordynsky, President of Save a Life International.

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A Ukrainian couple arrived safely in San Francisco and reunited with family Thursday after leaving Kyiv.

Once in Romania, many Ukrainian refugees don't have anywhere to go. That's where Cornell, his wife and five daughters come in. They partnered with Save a Life International.

"We send cars to pick them up some at midnight, some in the morning, some during the day," said Cornell.

TAKE ACTION: Local and national support for people in Ukraine

Throughout the day they pick up refugees and drive them to safety. They own a summer camp 30 miles from the border.

"Every day there are between 30, 40, and 110 because they are coming and going. We are trying to keep it as a transit place. They come for two to three nights and then we try to help them find a way," said Cornell.

In the last two weeks, this family has helped about 600 Ukrainian refugees with shelter, food and relocation to multiples countries around Europe.

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13 days ago Oksana was a project manager at a local bank in Kyiv. Now, she's dressed in tactical gear fighting and supporting Ukraine's military.

"Nobody walks from here without knowing where to go. If they don't know, we call or we find somebody who will help them," said Oana Clipa.

This week, they rescued 33 teenagers who fled Ukraine with their judo coach. Many of their parents stayed back to fight for their country.

"These children from these territories they live and study in Zaporizhzhia. Now Zaporizhzhia is in war under the war. Every day is coming closer and closer. It's dangerous," said Kiril Vertinskiy, Judo Coach.

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Weighing heavy on this coach is when these teenagers will see their parents again.

"Today, our priority is to keep them safe. After the war, when the war is stopping, we must think about it," said Vertinskiy.

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As for Cornell, he's hoping more people help so he can continue this aid until the summer.

"The love of God we understand that must be put in action. So, that means you have to love your neighbors," said Cornell.

Meanwhile, he is teaching his daughters learn a lesson on compassion.

To help this family continue their humanitarian efforts you can donate to Save a life International.

Take a look at the latest updates on the Ukraine-Russia war.