Donations for Ukrainian refugees being collected in OC as besieged country continues battling Russia

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Worldwide, there has been an outpouring of support for Ukraine and all of the refugees fleeing the country as Ukrainians battle the Russian invasion of their country.

In Southern California, many businesses are packing up donations to help those caught in the crisis.

The devastation and unknowns are bringing heartache to many Americans, especially those with roots in Ukraine and Russia, like Lisa Harvey and her family.

"I've been crying, like, I'll be hugging my kids, my children, and I have such a hard time imagining that my friends my relatives are hiding somewhere underground," said Harvey, owner of European Delights Gourmet Foods.

It's been nearly a week since she's heard from a close friend who is in the southeastern region

"I really hope she just has no internet that's why she's not replying," said Harvey. "But she's been sending me horrific videos, you know, from her window."

Harvey and her family are taking action. It's nothing new for the business owner who has years of practice with humanitarian efforts in her homeland through the nonprofit "Nova Ukraine."

"We're collecting medical supply donations, some kids formula kids diapers, something needed urgently," said Harvey.

They're also taking children's warm clothing and financial donations. It's crucial to help the Ukrainian military during this war, and for the cost of fuel for private jets donated for delivery.

Andrii Ripa dropped off goods he and his wife collected. The Ukrainian immigrant says that watching it all unfold is torture.

"It's really hard to work, 'cause I have a constant headache, 'cause my family is in Kyiv," Ripa said.

Anyone wanting to donate items can drop them off at European Delights, or take them to a rally Sunday, March 6 in Laguna Beach at Main Beach, which starts at 3 p.m.

For other ways to help Ukrainian refugees and the relief effort, click here.

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