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Livingston Parish couple working to help family of six Ukrainian refugees

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WALKER - Jessica Dawson and her husband are doing what Louisianans do best: helping those in need during a state of emergency.

The Dawsons are raising money for a family of six seeking refuge. As Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Dawson began to fear for her friend's life.

"It's just mass destruction. It's insane, it's evil. They don't deserve to live like that," Dawson said.

It's a friendship she never expected. In December, she was shopping on Etsy for chapel veils. She came across Zinaida's page -- a shop owner in Rivne, Ukraine.

"Hers was beautiful," Dawson said.

After weeks of not receiving the veils, she reached out. Many messages later, the two are still talking.

"We became pretty good friends through that" Dawson said.

Dawson says Zinaida, along with her four children and elderly mother, left everything behind, seeking refuge in Germany. Her husband stayed to help others.

"One of the comments they said, 'it's okay now, my mom isn't crying anymore,'" Dawson said.

Every day, Dawson looks at plane tickets to fly the family of six here to the U.S., so they can reunite with family they made here.

"As Christians, our main focus is to help those who cannot help themselves right now, and that is what our main goal is," Dawson explained.

Dawson set up a GoFundMe to help with the expenses.

"Trying to get them fed, trying to get them clothed. All they have is one bag each," Dawson said.

If you would like to donate to the cause, click here.


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