My Uncle Larry sent a picture marking the homes of my great-great grandparents! I had no idea that I had any connection to Ukraine. I wanted to share this discovery with one of our student workers who happens to be from Ukraine.
I work in the Facilities Department at Fresno Pacific University. Maria came here to study psychology. She works in Facilities and plays tennis to pay for her education.
I asked Maria if I could show her the picture sent by my uncle. Her response was uncharacteristic, "If this is something about Ukraine, I don't want to talk about it!" I explained that I just wanted to show her where my relatives had lived. She hesitantly looked at the map and said, "Wow, that's right next to Zaporizhzhia. That's my town."
Over the weekend, I looked at a map showing where the Russians had moved into Ukraine. My heart dropped! Zaporizhzhia was marked in red! No wonder Maria seemed so stressed.
! asked a coworker about Maria. I learned that her parents are still trapped in Ukraine. Maria's parents don't have enough money to escape.
I want to do something to help Maria's parents leave Ukraine. Here in the Facilities Department we fix things. It's just what we do. This disaster in Ukraine is overwhelming. Fixing that isn't possible for us. But, if we could help Maria's parents escape, that would at least be something!