Would you save your Mother’s life for $200? 

A story of an amazing family from the Wisconsin Dells rescuing their mother from the Ukraine

Donate now to Sunflower of Peace Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping Ukrainians affected by the Russian military invasion.

The other day I was sitting on my phone during a show and scrolling through Facebook when I saw “My Momma is finally with me. She left Ukraine. Thank you so much everyone for reaching out”. My heart stopped and I immediately began to read responses from my friend Oksana’s Facebook page. I met Oksana years ago and haven’t talked to her in awhile. I knew she was from somewhere in the Ukraine, always loved her accent, but for some reason when Jen was reporting on the tragedies in the Ukraine I just didn’t put two and two together.

Oksana moved to the Wisconsin Dells on June 6 of 2006. She had come here for a work program from the city of Dnipro in the Ukraine. She would end up loving America, having a child and becoming a US Citizen back in 2017. Her brother would come to the Dells as well in 2010 and they both began their version of the “American Dream”. Oksana would go back and visit her mother Lyudmyla over the years and her mom would visit here as well. One of the many negatives of the pandemic was that her mom hasn’t been to the states in 3 years.

So last Friday I texted Oksana and asked if she had a minute to chat. We jumped on the phone for almost an hour as she told me the amazing and sad story of what has been going on with her family in the Ukraine.

We will attach audio from her visit but here are a few of the things that I leaned on Friday that made my heart drop.

Lyudmyla moved to Dnipro from the city of Malyn, about an hour drive from Kyiv. She would marry Oksana’s dad, whom is no longer with us, and have a family in their home that had the school Oksana would go to right in the back yard. When things began to escalate in the Ukraine Oksana’s neighbor walked over to the school, which had become a designated bomb shelter, and offered to help in any way she could. The principal of the school informed her that this bomb shelter was only for the parents and students of the school and she and her friend Lyudmyla would have to find shelter else where. I don’t know if you realize this or not, I did not, but there are not a lot of shelters currently in the town of Dnipro and it had become just a matter of time before Russian troops would be entering the city limits, so the question became “what do we do now?”.

Oksana reached out to her old friend and daughter of her mothers neighbor. Her friend is living in Israel and the two of them began calling everyone they could to call in favors to get their mothers to safety. Something else I have learned that I didn’t know is that men between the ages of 18 to 60 can’t actually leave the country. What a lot of them are doing is driving women and children to safety in Poland, it’s a 30 hour drive, and then driving back with water. The reason they go back with water is because Russian troops have destroyed the water supply to towns like Dnipro.

I asked Oksana how much did it cost for that ride? She told me that in the Ukraine it’s a lot of money but “American Dollars” would be $200.00. I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that a ride to the border was only $200.00. I lost my mom years ago and would’ve paid anything to stop the sickness that ripped through her body. For only $200.00 Oksana got to get her mother to safety and then airfare from Poland to the US. The total bill for Lyudmyla to see her daughter, son and grand children was $1,200.00.

Oksana’s grandparents are still in the town of Malyn. While her mother was flying to safety the town of Malyn was bombed so bad that the force blew out all the windows in her Grandma and Grandpa’s home. Fortunately their other daughter is there and came and put plastic over the windows and the blasts didn’t knock out their furnace.

Why have I shared all this with you? I think many of us, myself included, sit behind our phones and computers and watch things like this happen and don’t do anything. To some of us it just seems like a movie or we won’t worry about it until it’s in our backyard. Other people, like the people that raised over $5,000.00 in the Dells to help Oksana’s friends and family in the Ukraine are making moves. Shouldn’t we all be doing that? It’s pretty easy. If you don’t have the money share stories on social media. We all have a little time to stop watching Tik Tok video’s, or whatever, to spread the word. Don’t we?

Oksana choose a charity that she trusts and that is what we are asking you donate to. We won’t know the total’s, like we normally do, when we are helping people but YOU will know that YOU are making a difference. Join me please in helping spread the word, love and assistance that the great people of our country have the luxury of providing.