If somebody needs help, you give it.

Charity In Action was honored to step in and help raise funds for the Smirnov family when they needed escape from Eastern Ukraine while their own was under siege by Russian troops. You can learn more about their need by reading the letter below.

From Genai:

“We are raising funds to help our soon-to-be family-in-law, the Smirnov’s, escape the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. Kharkiv is being besieged and strangled by Russian troops. They are suffering nonstop bombing and fierce fighting!

Our connection to the Smirnov family is that they are our future family! Their son Nikita and our daughter Sierra met at Bryn Athyn College. Sierra was a freshman and a pre-nursing major. Nikita transferred in as a sophomore as a business major and to play for the Bryn Athyn College hockey team. Sierra and Nikita both played on the women’s and men’s tennis teams and Sierra also ran cross country. Nikita graduated in 2020 and Sierra graduated in 2021. Over time their friendship grew into something more and in June of 2021 Nikita and Sierra became engaged. Their wedding will be here in Colorado in September! Our greatest hope is that Nikita’s family will be able to be here for this most wonderful occasion.

The Smirnov family – Viktoria and Gennady – Nikita’s mother and father, Christina, Sergei, and Karolina – Nikita’s sister, brother-in-law, and 3-year-old niece – had been sheltering in a basement since the beginning of the Russian invasion. However, the situation has become dire. The difficult decision was made that it was best to leave Kharkiv and try to reach safety in the West. Leaving means they have left behind everything except what little they can carry in a few suitcases. It also means leaving behind their home, friends, jobs, and a full and beautiful life!

Their hope is to now make it to an open border in the West but which one is still unclear. The situation in Ukraine continues to move at a rapid pace and is very unpredictable.

This is where we need and would love your help and support! In this incredible tragedy, we can come together and help this wonderful family. We are hoping to provide funds to support their journey to safety. Once in a safe place, we will need to make sure they are able to secure suitable housing – especially for 3-year-old Karolina! Beyond that, we would like to make sure that they are able to get all the necessities that they will need – food, clothing, medical, etc. Eventually, if possible, we hope they will be able to apply for refugee status and hopefully come to the United States.

All of this and more is what we hope we can help make happen but are very aware of the many difficulties and hardships that are ahead of them. If we can ease the financial burden as they flee war and find safety it would be an extraordinary blessing for them as well as for Nikita and Sierra. And while it is difficult at times to ask for the generosity of others, it is in times like these that there is a particular strength in numbers and more importantly in community.

Also, please know ALL monies donated beyond what is needed, will be given directly to other Ukrainian families in similar situations.

With deepest love and gratitude!”

-Genai (Rodman) Heinrichs