Omaha woman helps Ukrainian family settle in Nebraska

An Omaha woman is helping Ukrainian refugees and their families find a home in America.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 6:58 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Being together with family, having food, and having a nice warm home are often things we take for granted. It is something the Grynko family realized they needed when they had to leave their homes just to find safety.

“At that time we had to abandon everything we had,” Grynko said. “The first time we had to leave and move to different cities to find work and a safe city to live in.”

Nataliya Gyrnko said in 2014 she and her family made a drastic decision to save themselves from the first Russian attack in eastern Ukraine.

They started over in a new city in their home country, but years later things spiraled out of control again.

“We built another happy family life then the war started again, but we knew we didn’t want to live with our children having to go to the basement to escape rockets or other kinds of danger,” Gyrnko said.

They survived on a limited supply of food, water, and shelter, but Gyrnko said it wasn’t enough to care for her three kids. She knew they had to flee the country.

“It was a very difficult decision, but the most important thing is for our children to have a safe life,” Gyrnko said.

Here in the United States, they’re relieved to have a normal life again.

“Here we know what we have we have heat, we have water,” Grynko said. “Today many people in Ukraine must walk far distances and get water in buckets.”

Kelly Lytle has been helping the family settle in Omaha by helping them find needed household goods and acting as a friend. She has also set up a GoFundMe for them.

“So, for them to be able to come together and come to Nebraska and be here and safe and have electricity and have heat in the winter, and have access to food is really really great,” Lytle said.