YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for about four months now. The war has caused many people to flee their country and seek asylum.

Tuesday, members of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation were able to successfully bring three family members of an employee to the area.

Zina Lerman is an employee of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation. She now is the primary sponsor for Klara, 85; Sergey, 60; and Iryna Isakova, 60; who have been in the area for a week.

“This is actually the only family that I have here now, and I am very happy,” Lerman said.

Lerman and her family came to the United States from Ukraine in 1992 with only a few bags. The Youngstown Jewish Federation was part of that process. Now, Lerman is paying it forward for her family, with the help of the Federation.

“I didn’t believe it, that it would be possible to get here — all this paperwork and everything and get permission,” Lerman said.

With the help of the Federation and President Joe Biden’s United 4 Ukraine Plan, the Isakovas were able to get permission through the Humanitarian Parole. After about two months and days of travel, the Isakovas landed in America.

“We were very glad when Zina helped us,” said Iryna.

Iryna said the days of war were long and hard. At one point, their family had 12 people staying in their flat in central Ukraine. sleeping on the floor with candles and sharing food.

“With so many smiles and people, of course, I feel like somewhere in heaven, to compare, to compare the days in our country,” Iryna said.