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Thanksgiving celebration held in Orangevale for Ukrainian refugees

Many attendees celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the United States after fleeing Ukraine when the war began.

ORANGEVALE, Calif. — A Sacramento area-based organization hosted a Thanksgiving celebration in Orangevale for Ukrainian refugees, Saturday.

Ukrainian American House, founded in 2018, gave out free food and drinks at the event with music and resources for refugees.

Ukrainian American House Chairman Vlad Skots said this is a chance for Ukrainians to be together, talk with each other and celebrate the American holiday expressing thanks.

"Most of them, they had a long, difficult way to get here through Mexico," he said. "But today, we just helping them to have this peace, to have this celebration...this family fellowship."

Denys and Yuliia Hashbor from Lviv, Ukraine attended the event with their 6-month-old son. Yuliia says he was born in Germany after they fled Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion.

“With this little boy we decided to continue our travel,” said Denys. 

The family recently came to the United States. They are celebrating their first Thanksgiving, along with many other Ukrainian refugees who came to the celebration in Orangevale.

"The most important in our life is our family, our friends, safety and to be thankful to God for what we have," said Denys.

For the Hashbor family, being here is bittersweet; they say their home was destroyed last week.

“Three or four days ago, it was bombed and after this news, we are thankful to God we are here in this safe place,” said Yuliia.

“We still feel a lot of worries in our hearts about our country because a lot of our friends still in Ukraine,” said Denys. 

The Hashbor family said their parents and grandparents are also there.

Ukrainian American House is providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine as the war continues, including sending medical supplies and protective equipment. They are also helping Ukrainian refugees who move to the United States with obtaining documents and benefits.

The organization hosts similar events every Saturday. For more information, click HERE.

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