NORTH PORT, Fla. — Lieda Boyko has been fighting to bring her family to safety.
“I just got my cousin’s granddaughter and her little two year old out. They’re in Poland now, and now we’re trying to figure out how to get them to either the United States or Canada," explains Boyko, a Ukrainian American who was participating in the annual Easter Bazaar at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port.
This year, the bazaar is turning a traditional holiday sale into a humanitarian twist.
“They’re donating, saying ‘what can we do to help.’ They are giving checks, they are giving cash, all in the name of humanitarian aid for Ukraine," says Ann Marie Susla, Treasurer with the Ukrainian National Women’s League, Branch 56.
Things like baked goods, jewelry, artwork and Ukrainian Easter eggs were sold outside.
Lieda says this year's event got much more attention compared to years' past - and they've got donations to prove it, with five thousand dollars being raised throughout the day.
“The people that came were so generous and so giving and it was really very nice to see that," says Boyko.
“Luckily, thankfully, our family is safely in Poland, together with all the children and grandchildren, and we’re in contact with them everyday," adds Susla.
Their families safe in Poland, but still raising money back in the states - with $50,000 total being raised since the war started, according to the Ukrainian National Women's League.
“People are sending it by mail. They’re coming and dropping it off. Today, the women’s league table, it was no prices on any item. It was whatever you thought was fair, all aid was going for humanitarian aid," says Sulsa.