Valentyna Nahalevska, 58, is originally from Ukraine and has lived in Hillsboro for four years. Local friends have offered to send money to her family members in the war-torn country and in Poland, but she requested that donations go directly to the Ukrainian Army.
“Everyone is worried, and everyone in Hillsboro that she knows — she knows a lot of people at the YMCA and she knows a lot of people at the hospital — so everybody here is wanting to help her and wanting to do something,” said Hillsboro resident Vic Allen, who is organizing the local Benefit for Ukrainian Army. “She talked to her sons, and her sons said, ‘Yes, the army needs money.’”
Nahalevska’s two sons, Alexander, 37, and Andrey, 32, are in Kyiv, and her daughter-in-law and grandchildren have fled to Poland.
“My older son, he just drives people from dangerous places to safe places,” said Nahalevska. “It’s dangerous because Russia is everywhere, and he just takes people and drives them to the west of Ukraine where it’s a more safe place.
She said she tries to keep in contact with her family and friends every day. “Sometimes we don’t have connection because of the dangerous situation,” she said.
Nahalevska, who works at Highland District Hospital, said she wonders each day if her friends and family in Ukraine are alive and OK. “My friends who live in Kyiv said for a few days it was really scary and dangerous, but now it’s better because the American people and American government have gave to us a lot of weapons and helped a lot,” she said.
She encouraged people to donate money to support the Ukrainian Army. “Yes, people can help if they want or if they would like to do that,” she said. “We need to help each other. If something happened here, my people would help too, so we should help each other.”
Donations will be sent through Western Union to Poland as Western Union is not currently available in Ukraine. “The money we are trying to have contributed will be going to the Ukrainian Army, so we are going to wire it to Poland and her daughter-in-law will pick it up and take it to the border, and her son will meet her there and take the money back and give it to the officers in the Ukrainian Army,” said Allen.
The donations will be used for parts, ammunition, special equipment, and other needs.
Cash or check donations can be made in person, by mail, or by drop box at any First State Bank, including the one in Hillsboro at 730 Harry Sauner Rd., Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Checks should be made payable to Benefit for Ukrainian Army.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.