SAN DIEGO – Dozens attended the Ukrainian Culture Festival held in Kearny Mesa Sunday night, where all proceeds from the event are going to support the people still in Ukraine.

“My family right now is split apart, my father is in Ukraine and my mom is here with me,” Anna Belaya, creative director of the Ukrainian Culture Festival said. “We can’t sleep so we decided to do something to help those people.”

The event was filled with singing, dancing, live music, traditional food and clothing, which those in attendance said my their home country not feel so far away, and also allowed those from Ukraine, a place to connect with each other.

“I can’t stay silent when something is going on in my country,” Melania Nikolienko said. Some of her family is still in Ukraine. “You’re waking up and you’re feeling pain or something, because you know that your aunt your cousins all of them can die in a second,” Nikolienko said.

Despite being thousands of miles away from their home country, everyone at the event was wanting to make a difference.

“We want to give them the means of life, and we also want to give the opportunity to relocate to safer zones in Ukraine” Belaya said.

“We can’t choose who is going to eat today, we want to help everybody,” Anastasiya Kridoshey, organizer of San Diego Helps Ukrainian Kids, said. Kridoshey was born and raised in Ukraine, and came to the U.S. in 2009. Her and her two children sell items they’ve created to raise funds and support kids who’ve lost their parents in the war.

Through her group, they have raised more than $2000 to help support orphanage children in Ukraine.

“Were trying to do everything to feed them, get them medicine, do whatever they need, they tell us and we find somebody who can buy them, so we don’t give them money, we give them products they actually need,” Kridoshey said. 

“It gives me hope that the good will win the evil one day, the truth will dominate the lie, there should be a turning point and I believe in victory with all my heart,” Belaya said.

To donate to the cause, click HERE. For more information on San Diego Helps Ukrainian Kids, click HERE.