PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – Denys Pavlov is a 17-years-old who came to Buffalo High School last year from the Ukraine. As a foreign exchange student, he was planning to head back home, but when Russia invaded his country in February, everything changed for his family.
“It was hard on me because I didn’t understand how things could change so dramatically so fast,” said Pavlov. “Of course I was afraid about my family.”
Unable to go home and see his family, Deny’s host father, Shannon Priddy was determined to bring Pavlov’s family to West Virginia.
“I was so excited for him to be able to bring them here and know that they are out of danger, because it was a very dangerous place,” said Priddy. “It was quite a struggle I’m sure for them to leave everything behind just to be able to get here.”
His mother and grandma fled the country with only a suitcase, arriving in Eleanor last week.
“I have a Ukrainian family now,” said Priddy.
“It’s a new chapter,” said Pavlov. “I think we will stay in West Virginia for a while because we used to never ask for help or support in Ukraine. That’s our culture. Here I never asked for help, help came to me with out asking and I’m so grateful for this.”
The community is welcoming Denys and his family with open arms, working to raise money so they can make West Virginia home.
The community is hosting a spaghetti dinner that will take place August 14th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Eleanor Fire Department. All of those proceeds will go towards Denys and his family during their time of need.
There is also a GoFundMe to support the family here.