It’s been a little over two months since the first Prayer on the Square.
Dozens of people showed up the event which featured prayer, hope and Ukrainian Refugees
Organizar Dmitriy Maftey says the support he sees is overwhelming.
“Been overwhelmed by the support from the Springfield community,” Maftey said. “We have moms in Springfield area who decided to donate diapers.We have moms in the Springfield area who have donated car seats. We have grandmothers in Springfield area that that handmade quilts and blankets”
Mothers and fathers, who are on a Humanitarian Parole status will look for jobs in the area as their families adjust to a new life but have to obtain work permits and social security paperwork before they can even apply. That process could take up to three months.
“The federal and state financial assistance is not available for these people.” Maftey said.
“So they have to rely solely on their relatives and on community support for their living here “
Providing that support caused Maftey to create Springfield Refugee Aid, a charity group that partners with local churches to support Ukrainians as they start this chapter of their lives.
“The goal is to provide them with basic necessities for survival and help them stand on their feet. And then as they stand on their feet very quickly, our goal is to get them become self-sufficient and self-sufficient”
Around 30 families have fled Ukraine and have made their way to the Ozarks, including Oleksander Soroka, a ukrainian refugee says his family traveled for 80 days.
Soroka says he’s looking forward to the newest chapter of his life.
“I came with my wife and we have a little baby. My wife is pregnant and we’re expecting another child.” Soroka said.
“We’re grateful for the new life here, but first we want to put our feet down and then to find a place to live and find work.”
Springfield Refugee Aid has opened a donation center in Rogersville but with limited space, no staff and only volunteers working the center, the organization is asking for new or gently used items at this time.
You can find out more about Springfield Refugee Aid by going to springfieldrefugeeaid.com