SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Russian war in Ukraine has coincided with more than 3 million people leaving the country. A Yankton couple saw these people and decided to lend a hand.
It was a typical morning in the Opsahl household. But the morning of March 4th was different.
“It was the images and videos of what’s happening in Ukraine, there was little kids crying, moms crying, and dads crying because they had to stay behind, and I told my husband, we really need to do something,” Courtney said.
“So she in the span of maybe 5 or 6 hours literally had the trip planned and ready to go,” Kevin said.
The two packed a bag to share and set off for Poland the following Monday. After landing in Europe, they drove to a camp 3 miles from the Polish border with Ukraine where they worked unloading supplies, providing medical assistance and registering incoming refugees.
“Young women with children, that’s what we saw as the bulk of refugees that came in. It was really sad in that regard. These poor women are on their own,” Kevin said.
“There was heartbreak, my husband and I talked about how many of these women are already widows and they don’t know it?” Courtney said.
They are now back home in Yankton where they own a restaurant. Their thoughts, however, are with people whom they met far from North America. There are unanswered questions, too.
“We started with kids and we ended with kids, knowing that at least for that little boy we made him smile that day. I don’t know what he’s been through and I’m going to wonder for the rest of my life where that little boy is, if he made it out okay and if he’s doing okay, I hope his family is safe and he’s doing okay,” Kevin said.
The couple hopes to continue helping those impacted by the war.