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Denver church raises money, support for Ukrainians

Many members of the Ukrainian Catholic church in north Denver have deep ties to Ukraine. They baked goods and made other items to raise money to send back.

DENVER — Members of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church held a fundraiser Sunday with baked goods, art, jewelry and other items.

Most chuch members have a deep connection to Ukraine. Many were born there and most everyone has family members who still live in Ukraine. Women from the church spent their weekend cooking and baking and making all the items that were up for sale on Sunday.

"We have been working as much as we can to help," said Lileya Sobechko, a member of the church. She has a mother and sister in Ukraine, along with her husband's family.

"This is our little piece of Ukraine. When we came into this country, on the very first day we came into this church and a special spirit lives here. Our Ukrainian spirit lives here," Sobechko said.

The church has become a home to those watching the invasion unfold on the other side of the world. 

"Everyone worries about their families in Ukraine. When we come together, we talk about this and it just makes it easier, a little bit," Sobechko said.

Marta Motsyuk helped organize the fundraiser. She also has relatives back home. 

"Every morning I wake up and check if they are alive, if they are doing OK," Motsyuk said. "It’s really really heartbreaking. I worry. We don’t sleep at night. We check the news. I worry about so much about my parents." 

The money raised on Sunday will go to Ukrainian nationals there amidst the war. They will also go to equip the military with better armor and gear.

"We want people to understand the third world war is going right now. It’s nothing that it’s coming in the future. We don’t need to wait for that. We need to stop it now," Sobechko said. 

Church members are also working to send back other needs like medications. The group said they're thankful to everyone who donated during the event.

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