Anna Jacobs organised a coffee morning at St Joseph’s on Tuesday morning, with fellow Ukrainian Nina Peacock, which brought in £1,921 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
“We were just amazed at the support and how many members of the community turned up,” said Anna.
“At one point we had no seats left, and had a queue of people, and so we set up chairs outside to enjoy in the sunshine.
“The comments of support and the financial generosity of the community was just amazing.”
Anna, 38, who works at St Joseph’s School in Wetherby, was born in Bradford but has connection to the Ukraine through her grandparents who fled the country during WWII, leaving behind family and life as they knew it to live in Britain.
“They made Bradford their home and integrated into the community but they are always being proud to be Ukrainian,” added Anna.
“I speak Ukrainian, and as a child attended a Ukrainian school on Saturdays in Bradford. I was even married in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.”
The mum of two children added that the attack on Ukraine by Putin is horrifying and she fears for her family.
“What is happening in Ukraine is beyond horrifying, I can’t even put into words how it makes me feel.
“I have family throughout Ukraine and I fear for them and for every Ukrainian who is living through this nightmare.
“In Ukraine, I have more cousins and family than I could count between both my parents side, plus grandparents sides.
“That includes direct first cousins (my grandma had to leave her young son behind when she was displaced during the war and as a result I have direct first cousins).”
She added that the attacks on Ukraine are not what Putin claims.
“It is not the Russian state fighting for the liberation of Ukraine but ultimately a fight against humanity, and against freedoms as we know it, “ said Anna.
“The resilience of the Ukrainian people is remarkable and I am in awe of their courage, their strength, their fight, their faith, and their humility.
“I could not be prouder of my roots than I am today.”
Anna said she and Nina, who also lives in Wetherby, felt that they had to do something to help.
“We decided to hold a coffee morning for the local community to raise vital funds for the Disasters Emergency.”