A GVSU graduate student wants to thank an aid organization made up of volunteers that helped her youngest brother and father in Ukraine survive 40 days of Russian occupation.
Nataliia Kniffin, who is studying criminal justice, said the work of Freedom to Ukraine, an aid organization founded soon after Russia invaded her native country, was instrumental in the survival of her family members.
“My hope is to share this story with the Grand Valley community,” said Kniffin. “These organizations depend on support. I’m very thankful for that organization to be able to support and help with food and rescue my father and brother.”
Kniffin’s thoughts are constantly attuned to the well-being of her elderly father, Vladimir, and youngest brother, Yurij.
Since the Russian invasion began in late February, she said she can barely get a phone connection with the pair, who live outside Kyiv in the town of Gostomel. Like its neighbor Bucha, Gostomel saw fierce fighting in the early days of the conflict.