HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- There has been an outpouring of support in the Tri-State Area for the people of Ukraine.
Their fight against the Russian invasion is capturing the hearts of so many wanting to help, and Long Islanders are coming together to send support, including supplies and financial donations.
Ukrainian blue and gold was hoisted at Hempstead Town Hall, where an annual flag raising is now colored by heartache and outrage.
"The horrific aggression of Russia invading this country ... We are unified in saying we are disgusted," Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said.
Among those gathered were Ukrainian Long Islanders rocked by the bloodshed. Kateryna Lyman spoke with her mother-in-law, Iryna Rodyk, moments after sirens blared.
"It's horrible. I don't wish to my enemy to go through what we have now ... Please, help us, and we are very thankful for everything," Rodyk said.
Gratitude was also expressed by a Kyiv rabbi who is in daily contact with leaders of Temple Sinai of Roslyn, whose congregants have visited in happier times. He's now holed up in a basement bunker.
"It's difficult time, very emotional, but I know that you're with us, and we know that always good is overtaking evil," Rabbi Alex Dukhovny said.
It's an unthinkable David and Goliath fight, say Temple Sinai's Ukrainian-born cantors.
"We really feel that war entered our house, and war entered this community. We really are with them in our hearts and our minds," cantor Elena Schwartz said.
"The buildings are falling, the rockets are flying and our heart aches," cantor Sergei Schwartz said.
Synagogues and churches are collecting financial donations, medical supplies, toiletries, food and clothing. Collections are pouring in at St. Vladimir's in Uniondale.
Donations will be flown within the week directly to war-torn parts of Ukraine and Poland to help fleeing refugees.
Long Islanders are working with local businesses, seeking donated supplies.
"It's not just the supplies and the equipment, but the tremendous moral support it gives for families," said Oleh Dekajlo, with the Long Island chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.
There is disbelief mixed with awe over Ukrainian courage.
"We are so unbelievable it happened to our country ... a peaceful country," East Meadow resident Yaroslavia Kunitski said.
for more features.