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Henderson man travels to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

David Pershica
Posted at 9:56 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 02:20:12-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — David Pershica watched millions of people flee their country as Russian forces invaded Ukraine from the comfort of his own home in Henderson.

In late March, Pershica decided he couldn't sit back and watch anymore.

Pershica boarded a plane for Warsaw, Poland, a city which has welcomed more than two million desperate refugees.

"I'm a doer, and I just knew I had to do something," he said. "They were really overstretched with what they could do, and what they could offer."

For eight days, with the help of crowd-funded cash, Pershica began buying supplies for the pop-up kitchen near Warsaw's main train station and helping to feed refugees arriving daily.

Beyond the crowds, Pershica said he saw human beings with hopes, stories, and aspirations dashed by unspeakable violence.

"That was probably the hardest part, having to compartmentalize my emotions," he said. "Trying not to cry in front of them, I would literally take crying breaks hearing some of the stories of what was happening."

On the other hand, Pershica said he was inspired by Poland's open-arms approach and the volunteers, many also from America, who stepped up to help.

"I feel like I haven't fully processed it yet," he said.

Now back home and safe, Pershica said he won't forget the battered, but unbroken, people he met abroad.

"My hope is that for the people involved, they will gain a sense of community again."