MANSFIELD, Texas — Day by day, the war in Ukraine is intensifying, and we are hearing from children and their families about the heartbreak they’re going through.
A local company from the Mansfield area was already on the ground in Russia and Ukraine when the war started.
The company helps empower children. Now, the workers are going around and saving orphan children and taking them to safety.
From the ground in Ukraine, they’re working hand-in-hand with Mansfield-based “Allies In Youth Development.”
They’re making a desperate plea for people to donate white sheets, so they can be wrapped around orphan children during intense shelling.
“The mission on the ground is to help the orphans survive. Help evacuate them,” said Chris Burgin, CEO of Allies in Youth Development.
Burgin’s team was already on the ground for the work they do with orphan children.
“To become educated, to be able to adjust into life,” said Burgin.
The team quickly had to shift gears and save children.
Children had been saying they’re afraid they’re going to die.
“Every sound. They thought they were being bombed. They were really really scared,” Valentina Vedernikova.
Vedernikova adopted 12 children. They grabbed everything they could, packed it in a car and drove towards Romania.
“Driving at such a high speed. Like 135 km,” said Verdernikova.
They sat in traffic for more than 12 hours, while they witnessed people sleeping on the streets with nowhere to go.
Victoria Epik is with the group and made it to Romania.
”Victoria is actually getting food for them. she’s close to the Romanian store,” said Epik, through an interpreter.
But the store shelves were empty, and there was no food.
And back in Ukraine, Sergei Boichura, who is also working with another group of orphan children, was collecting food.
While he was showing WFAA through Zoom, bombs were going off.
He stopped what he was doing and started running.
“He is going to the bomb shelter because the sirens aerate is starting,” said the interpreter.
He doesn’t now know what will happen next.
If you would like to donate to the local organization, visit their website here.