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Ukrainian family using their restaurant to raise money to help people escape fighting in Ukraine

Reporter: Jennifer Morejon Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A Ukrainian couple who came to Southwest Florida to open a restaurant is doing more than praying for the war to end. They are sending the profits from the Tartine and Tartelette restaurant in North Naples to help people escape the fighting. They are motivated to take action because of a girl they left behind.

In order to chase the American dream, Galyna and Sergiy Horyslavsky left their family in Ukraine behind, including Sergiy’s daughter Alina. The couple settled in North Naples and opened a restaurant.

“I worry for my family in Ukraine. I worry about my daughter, all family, children, people. This is my family. I worry,” said Sergiy Horyslavsky.

When they arrived in America six years ago, they did not imagine their daughter would be in harm’s way. Now, two weeks into the Russian invasion of their homeland, they live every day in fear. “She lives in Kyiv, she works in Kyiv, she studied in Kyiv, and now she moved to the west part of Ukraine because she lost everything. Home, she lost her job. Everything,” said Galyna.

Sergiy said his heart aches for his daughter. He takes some small comfort in the fact she’s now fled to Lviv, away from the fighting where he still has three homes. He said he’s opened those homes up to others searching for safety. Most don’t have the money or the right paperwork to cross the border into Poland.

Fighting back tears, Galyna hopes there’s an end in sight. “We just want to stop fighting. We just so worried about all kids, all families who are right now in Ukraine,” Galyna said.

Other members of their family who are in the country are helping their fellow Ukrainians by creating weapons for the army “We try to help them how we can. From the first day, his niece, Krystyna, with her husband, blacksmith company, they do everything for the army,” said Galyna.

She and her husband have opened their homes in Ukraine to people in need. “People come without luggage, just with what they bring from home. A little paper box. They just take something important. Not too much clothes. Nothing,” Galyna said.

Feeling helpless, they know the best and fastest way to help the war effort is to send money. “We send our own money every time for the families who live. We pay for the electricity. They don’t pay anything. We pay everything for them. We do for the clothes, for the food, because they lost job. They don’t have money,” said Galyna.

The Horyslavsky’s wonder if Ukraine will ever return to what it was before. In the meantime, they pray and help the cause in the best way they can. “We would just like to say we don’t want war and just ask all. Help Ukraine stop this because all of our kids are our families, our future. We need to save and we need to stop this,” said Galyna.

If you would like to help their effort you can make a donation at the Tartine and Tartelette restaurant at 11121 Health Park Blvd #900, Naples, or by calling the restaurant at 239-888-1151.