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Ukrainian family finds new start in Jacksonville with strangers stepping up to provide necessities

The Stozhok's appreciate the hospitality, believing they made the right choice for their three young daughters.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Stozhok family finished building their home in Ukraine four months before Russia's invasion.

Now, what was supposed to be their forever home, is left in ruins.  

"It was under heavy shelling and everything was looted by the Russian military," Alexander Stokhok told First Coast News through a translator. 

Stozhok, along with his wife, three daughters and mother-in-law, fled to Romania. 

They are one of millions of families to flee, leaving behind almost everything. 

"A couple times he had tears because it's gone. It's where he loved and lived, but obviously safety from his children and his wife and mother-in-law was paramount," his translator said.

Stozhok has a US visa, so he and his family were able to land in Jacksonville Tuesday.  He picked the city because a former co-worker of his now lives here.

Credit: Courtesy: Stozhok family
The Stozhok's finished building their home in Ukraine four months before Russia's invasion. It is now in ruins.

RELATED: Atlantic Beach hosting Ukraine refugee supply drive

Aside from that, he knows no one and is having to start over. The family is living temporarily in a St. Johns County condo which was donated by a stranger.

"It's hard. They have three children. I can't imagine this. I can't imagine this horror," said Natalia Plyam.

She is helping the family. She's also from Ukraine and has lived in the US for more than 30 years.

"It's horrifying that there's many more there and many more coming," she said.

The Stozhok's appreciate the hospitality, believing they made the right choice for their three young daughters.

"He just prays that this war is finished so innocent people, military, and all those other people stop dying from this horror," the translator said through Stozhok.

If you would like to help the family, you can email Natalia Plyam at nplyam@gmail.com. 

Clothing sizes:

  • Alexander Stozhok wears size XL
  • His wife wears size 6 shoes
  • His mother-in-law wears size 8 shoe
  • Their daughters are 15 months old, 4 and 7

RELATED: 'I believe we can save lives': Ukrainian refugee making medical kits in Jacksonville for civilian soldiers

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