MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Deacon Paul Galadza of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church says his Miami church is on a mission: To help those suffering in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

On Wednesday, Galadza and the Church Pastor, Andri Romankiv, said they received much-needed help from the office of Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio on Wednesday night introduced a bill to expedite aid to Ukraine. Rubio said the U.S. must act quickly to ensure Ukraine’s survival.

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CBS4’S Peter D’Oench followed Galadza and Romankiv as they said they were called to the Senator’s Southwest Miami-Dade office to meet with staff members and that’s where they received some good news.

Galadza said, “We were very grateful to meet with the Senator’s staff. They said the resources of the office would be madam available to us to help parishioners, not just parishioners but anyone in the community to expedite visas to expedite the visa process to bring loved ones in. That is tremendous. If you have ever tried to get through paperwork, you know that is a daunting task and in times like this if you can save a day or two or a week in the process that is very gratifying and reassuring.”

Galadza is worried about the future.

He saidm “Look at the numbers. Just yesterday we learned that almost a million people have been displaced. This is going to have to be a sustainable effort to help those people in every possible way, psychologically, physically and financially and to help them resettle. Many people in our parish have loved ones in Ukraine and as long as there is Facebook, as long as there are phones and the internet they are going to get up-to-date reports on them. It is getting more and more frightening because Putin is no longer relying on his troops because the troopers are sometimes faced with old ladies and old men laying down in front of their tanks and the troops are thinking what am I doing here.”

”As far as that 40-mile convoy,” he said, “It is slowing down probably due to resistance and the miscalculation of the speed at which he thought they could be conquered.”

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Julia Lemesh says she is worried not only about her father-in-law and his father, but she is also worried about the students she helps as President of the Ukraine Global Scholars Foundation, which helps talented Ukrainian high school students with financial support to enter top boarding schools and undergraduate programs.

Lemesh said, “The parents of my students in Ukraine are fighting against Russia and some got injured and are in the hospital. Psychologically it is getting harder and harder for people to cope with the stress and the sirens and it is making them feel sick. Luckily I have not lost anyone so far but there are more and more casualties. I feel for my friends and loved ones and they need help.”

She said, “It is just a tragedy in Ukraine. Just think, kids in subways are staying down there are bomb shelters and that is where they go to sleep. It is an awful picture, an awful picture for them right now.”

Lemesh said Ukraine needs humanitarian assistance, help for refugees, more military hardware, and more troops.

President Biden has asked for $6.4 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. State Department to respond to the crisis in Ukraine.

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The money would subsidize humanitarian aid and help for the refugees along with more military hardware for the Ukrainian, among a series of measures.

Peter D'Oench