Ukrainian woman in Houston works to bring father over while also helping refugees

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Ukrainian woman living in Houston feels helpless knowing her father can't escape the war, which has inspired her to help others.

Since the age of 16, Dariya Dashuntina has called Houston her home. It's a place she got to enjoy alongside her dad after moving from Ukraine.

Dashuntina said she longs for that joy again and is concerned if she will be able to make more memories.

"The worst month of my life," Dashutina said. "I never thought something like this in the 21st century would happen."

Dashuntina's dad, Dmitro, couldn't escape Ukraine when the war started. Dmitro moved to an area with less combat, but the living quarters have not been easy.

"They had to drive a little bit, then hide and then walk and then drive again," Dashuntina recalled.

Since he is a man under 60, Dmitro isn't allowed to leave Ukraine in case he must serve in the military.

"I would do anything to bring my dad here," Dashuntina said. "If I personally need to go there and do whatever it takes to bring him, I would."

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He may not be coming to the U.S., but soon, more Ukrainian refugees will. On Thursday, the state department said 100,000 refugees will be welcomed.

The department is also working on programs for those who have loved ones already in America. Dashuntina said she thinks it's a start, but she knows it won't be easy.

This is why she's working to form a foundation to help refugees learn English, get food, and have a place to live.

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"That's how I feel I'm helping my dad through those people in need right here today in the United States," Dashuntina said.

She said she will keep trying to give her father some sort of comfort as long as the war continues in an effort to let him know that he is not alone.

"Everything is going to be all right, and I'm going to do everything possible to bring you here," Dashuntina said. "Whatever it takes."

It's a promise Dashuntina plans to keep because without him, she wouldn't be safe in Houston.

SEE RELATED: President Biden, Western allies open 1st of 3 summits on Russian war

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