MN organization helps relocate Ukrainians in Twin Cities

Alight has partnered with Uniting for Ukraine to give 100,000 Ukrainians a chance to regroup and start over in the United States.

MINNEAPOLIS — It has been seven months since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, forcing millions of Ukrainian civilians to find safety and support with families in other countries, including here in the United States.

“Today our sponsoring family has been hard at work preparing for the arrival of the Ukrainian family, they have raised funds to help with some expenses for these first two months,” said Chris Kindler.

Kindler is the director of communications for Alight, a partner organization of Uniting for Ukraine, creating a pathway for 100,000 Ukrainians to reunite and start over in the United States, with American sponsor families, like the Norlanders.

“We’ve been doing things with our refugee resettlement volunteers over the last few years, and this opportunity came up and we thought we wanted to do something to help someone in Ukraine,” Mark Norlander said. .

“Help them find housing, help them get work permits or enroll in English classes, help enroll the children in school,” Kindler explained.

With only five days to spare…

“We were expecting a much longer period, so we had to prepare our house for them to live with us instead of finding a home for them first,” said Sharon Norlander.

RELATED: 4 Ukrainian Students Attend International School of Minnesota on Full Scholarship

The Norse welcomed a family of five to the Twin Cities on Saturday, who lost everything fleeing bombings in eastern Ukraine.

They will spend whatever time it takes to resettle in the cities, but for the Norse the biggest challenge will not be the language barrier.

“We don’t know the impact that the war and the loss of their home will have on their lives, and (we want) to help them resettle here in the United States,” Sharon explained.

It’s a new chance to live in the midst of the unknown, leading this family to better days.

“It’s one relationship at a time that changes the world, and I hope we have a wonderful relationship with this family and that our family can have this relationship too,” Sharon said.

Alight is working to recruit more sponsor families here in Minnesota to help Ukrainian families, anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can click here. There is also a GoFundMe page setup where donations can be made.

RELATED: 6 Months Later: MN-Based Alight Aids in Ukraine Refugee Crisis

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