Ukrainian man in Houston area concerned about parents stuck in war zone, collecting donations for aid

Dymetra Ivanov said everything that is happening in Ukraine is terrifying and unimaginable, but the worst part is that both of his parents, Uri and Natalia, are stuck in Kharkiv, hiding out inside their home and terrified to even step outside into the street. KPRC 2's Bill Spencer speaks to the worried son.

SPRING, Texas – Tens of thousands of miles from the fighting in Ukraine, Dymetra Ivanov is constantly looking at the latest images of war from his homeland.

”This is my hometown city of Kharkiv, Ukraine. I cannot believe this, what’s happening,” Ivanov said.

He is horrified and in disbelief at what he has been seeing.

”This is one of the Kharkiv orphan houses in the city where the children are all being kept in a bunker, just waiting to be saved,” he shared.

Ivanov said everything that is happening there is terrifying and unimaginable, but the worst part is that both of his parents, Uri and Natalia, are stuck in Kharkiv, hiding out inside their home and terrified to even step outside into the street.

So Ivanov calls his mother constantly.

He calls to hear her voice.

To comfort her and pray for her.

”She’s holding up, but there are times when I have to let her just breakdown and be crying. They are going through hell. I’m telling her that everything’s going to be okay,” he said.

Volunteers have been busy collecting donations that have been flooding in by the truck loads to help Ukrainians refugees. KPRC 2's Bill Spencer is at Grace's Nutrition Market in Spring to show the large outpouring of support.

Earlier this week, Kharkiv became the target of heavy rocket attacks, so most of the time, his mother is forced to climb underground, under her house, to a small dark, bunker.

She has invited several frightened neighbors to hide there as well with their children.

”She tells me they could pretty much spend the whole night in there praying, because the bombing and the rockets can be nonstop,” Ivanov said.

On Friday, Ivanov was working with the owner of Grace’s Nutrition Market in Spring, Michelle Garcia, to collect donations of warm clothing, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, first aid supplies, medicine and non-perishable foods for people like his mother and father who just can’t leave that war-torn country right now.

If you would like to make a donation, you can bring it to Grace’s Nutrition Market at 1421 Spring Cypress Road in Spring Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

If you would like to make a cash donation to help with the cost of shipping these items to the Ukrainian border you can contact Michelle.

In the meantime, Ivanov is comforting his mom the best he can over the phone.

“I’m saying all the time ‘I love you. We will save you mom,” Ivanov said.

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About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.