When Ukraine Refugees Arrive

Left to right: Max, Pastor Baum, Takya, Jim and Linda Galka, Glenna Snyder, Sandra, Jean Rupp, Stuart Watkins

Stuart Watkins

What a joy to be on hand at the Tucson International Airport when a family fleeing the Russian invasion arrived safely in Tucson. Members from SaddleBrooke and Vista United Methodist Church greeted them with flags and a bouquet of sunflowers (the national flower of Ukraine).

The smiles on their faces said it all. After hugs and welcomes were exchanged and their three bags of luggage and carry-ons were located, we all headed to McDonald’s for a late lunch. They love McDonald’s, and they knew what to order. The family then headed to Pastor Fred Baum’s home where they will spend the next two weeks as they go through the process of finding housing, filling out government documents, and getting the essentials they need to start a new life in the United States. People from SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, Sun City, Rita Ranch, and other communities have been asking what they can donate, and, basically, they need everything.

Everything they own was in the luggage they brought with them. Their last names are not being disclosed to prevent their relatives from possible repercussions from the invaders. Their village was the first to be invaded, and they wanted to quickly get their daughter out. She had started college and had to leave all that behind, but the family is so happy to be in the United States. Vista United Methodist Church is accepting donations. Pastor Fred Baum suggested Target gift cards so the family can shop for clothes that fit. Call 520-825-1985 for more information.