Utah family welcomes Ukrainian children into home
Salt Lake City, Utah – Cody Hill and Vladik Pavlenko kept in touch for years, but since the war in Ukraine began, they’ve talked almost every day. “I’ve heard missiles in the background on a few of the calls,” said Hill.
But with the conflict escalating in Ukraine, the Pavlenko family also chose to send their 13-year-old son Andre and 20-year-old daughter Masha to Utah. The Hill family agreed to take the children into their homes. “They just wanted to give their kids a chance. It’s frightening over there you know, it’s they don’t know what’s going to happen when or where,” said Nichole Hill, Cody Hill’s wife.
The eldest daughter of the Pavlenko family is already going to a college in Utah.
Their parents Vladik Pavlenko, and Tanya Pavlenko are staying in Ukraine to help protect their country. “They’re very patriotic, they love Ukraine, and they’re going to defend it to the end,” said Cody Hill.
According to Cody Hill and his wife Nichole Hill, they are more than happy to take the children into their homes. “My heart breaks for Tanya. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for her,” said Nichole Hill, “So having the opportunity to take care of her family while she’s trying to stay safe, we consider it a blessing, we’re glad they’re here, we’re going to love them like our own.”
In order to raise money so the children can have a sense of normalcy until they can go back home, the Hills created a Gofundme. “Masha has been going to school as an aerospace engineer, she’s very smart with physics and math, so we want to get her to continue that here,” said Cody Hill, “we don’t know how long they’ll be here. They might be here for 3 months or 5 years. So we want them to carry on their lives and have a positive experience so those are a few things we want to do.”