Support for Ukraine
While supporting Ukraine is way above the Stony Point Town Council position, I wanted to share the amazing experience my family has had as we've welcomed a 16 year old Ukrainian refugee, Masha, into our home since May.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, my family wished we had the opportunity to meaningfully support Ukrainians in protecting their nation. In April, through the connection of a family friend, we were put in touch with sisters, Yana (21) and Masha (15). They came to stay with our family in Tomkins Cove in May and have become part of our family. Masha and Yana's parents live in Western Ukraine, own grocery stores and have been supplying troops in the war effort.
Yana is now at University of Toronto and Masha stays with us and attends Saddle River Day School, who offered her an extremely generous scholarship. The remaining tuition was crowdsourced from our generous community. Over the summer, Masha was gifted the opportunity to attend summer camp at Farm and Wilderness. She is an amazing artist and Garrison Art Center has given her full scholarship to attend multiple classes. Over the summer Masha took extra English tutoring classes with Literacy Solutions, through which she met Robin Wren. Masha has found deep, special friendships with the Findlay family, and Simone Eisold and Mark Turner of Bull Farm in Rock Tavern, NY. Masha gets to and from school via an elaborate network of Stony Pointers, Tomkins Covers and other locals who have been captivated by her story and want to help. (Thank you Jody, Laurrie, Danica, Steve, Liz, Pete, Avis, Eric, Charlie, Pat, Gail and Robin!)
As you might get the feeling, everyone who meets Yana and Masha falls in love. They are bouyant and beautiful in so many ways. Despite their difficult circumstances, they try to make the best of every situation.
I have been extremely hesitant to share this story with people because my relationship with Masha is so personal and in every meaningful way, has nothing to do with this election. But many people close to me have urged me to share this experience to illustrate the things that I value as an individual in my own life.
If you have any questions about this story, or helping with rides for Masha to / from school, please reach out.