Anastasiia: An Unbelievable Welcome

By USCRI December 16, 2022

After her world shattered on February 24 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Anastasiia struggled to believe the welcome she found in North Carolina. “The kindness and help, it’s impossible,” she said. 

Anastasiia is one of the approximately 50 Ukrainians now receiving support at the North Carolina Field Office of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI NC). USCRI NC is working with community partners across the region to ensure our new Ukrainian neighbors have access to safe housing, social services, schools, employment opportunities, medical services, and legal aid. 

In a recent interview with USCRI NC, Anastasiia shared: “I can’t believe it but right now feels perfect.’ We have a safe place to live. My children have a future. I am looking forward to finding work and building a new life. I am so grateful. I want to share my story so it can help others.” 

Here is Anistasiia’s story as dictated to USCRI NC:

On the Invasion of Her Home Country:

“My whole life changed on February 24, 2022. I woke up, and my country was under attack by Russia. I had to figure out what to do. I have two children that I must keep safe. That was my focus. 

Her Exodus:

I have a close friend who has lived in the U.S. for 15 years. As a flight attendant, she had visited Ukraine often, and we remained close. She encouraged me to come to the U.S., where my children would be safe.  

I am so scared of flying! But I took the boys, and we got on an airplane. We traveled for five days to get to North Carolina. We were on planes and buses waiting for hours and hours. So many planes and airports. Now, when I see a plane in the sky, all I can think is: ‘I never want to fly again!’ 

My life had changed overnight. I have had a good life and never needed to ask for help. Suddenly, we had nothing. 

On the Welcome She Has Received:

At first, in North Carolina, I lived with another family. My children enrolled in elementary school. The other children at the school were so friendly and welcoming. My children liked school! Everyone at the school wanted to help. People gave us clothing and gave the boys shoes. It was hard to believe how generous the people were. These people do not know me, but they keep giving me support. 

Then, my sponsor and I connected with the USCRI North Carolina Field Office!  

With help from USCRI, I signed the lease to an apartment. Volunteers from USCRI NC helped set up the apartment and made sure I had the furniture and food we needed to be comfortable. I stayed up all night getting our home ready for the move. I am so happy!

I look forward to finding work. In Ukraine, I worked in administration and public relations. I am looking for work in NC that I can do while my children are at school. I want a future for my children. 

I still can’t believe how wonderful everyone has been to us.  I kept thinking, ‘It’s impossible.’ With everything that has happened, I can’t believe it, but right now feels ‘perfect.’ We have a safe place to live. My children have a future. I am looking forward to finding work and building a new life.  

I want to share my story to inspire more people to help; so others receive as wonderful a welcome as me.”    

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Be part of the welcome; click here to donate to USCRI NC. 

If you or a group you are a part of would like to become a Welcome Home Partner and set up homes for new arrivals, contact the USCRI NC Community Outreach Coordinator at: info@uscrinc.org. 


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