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United Way Blog

A family flees war with their cat

In Uzhhorod, Ukraine we met a refugee family who arrived from the city of Lysizansk in Lugansk County, which is more than 2000 km from Uzhhorod in Transcarpathia.  The mother came to town with her children, ages 10 and 12, and the most important thing for them now is to feel safe.  Apart from a suitcase, they only brought their kitten with them on the long journey.  

Already in March, the city was blockaded, and food quickly ran out, so there was no question that they had to flee.  Even the neighbor who was entrusted with the keys to their apartment had already fled the city, as they had heard gunshots and bombings daily. In this shelter several cats uphold and cheer up adults and children during these hard times. 

Pets bring a sense of home,  helping children in early childhood to develop confidence, an atmosphere where their brains are creating millions of connections per second to teach their bodies how to interact with the world, at stress this process is blocked. 

Volunteers, communities and network on the ground first provide support for basic needs, relocation and art therapy. Education, Jobs and Financial Stability are steps to be addressed in the times coming up.  

We hope Individuals and corporates get a sense of the reality with the stories our teams are collecting. If you feel moved, we all can help. Support our efforts by donating on the following page: #UnitedForUkraine