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LI pastor, wife continue to give back to Ukrainian refugees after helping out in Romania

Pastor Justin Vetrano and his wife Neina Vetrano, of Old Westbury, spent six days on the front lines helping refugees from Neina's native country.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2022, 11:18 PM

Updated 831 days ago

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A Long Island pastor and his wife just returned from Romania where they were helping Ukrainian refugees.
Pastor Justin Vetrano and his wife Neina Vetrano, of Old Westbury, spent six days on the front lines helping refugees from Neina's native country.
They volunteered in Isaccea near the Ukrainian port of Odesa by handing out hot tea and sandwiches to refugees as they disembarked ferries to safer country.
"It was so sad," says Neina Vetrano. "The first time I saw people come off the ferry, I started crying. I'm actually getting choked up right now because I could just see women and children."
Neina Veterano says they were exposed to freezing cold and can't imagine what they were going through back in their home country that they were willing to make the trip.
Justin Veterano says they realized that greatest need was transportation and accommodation.
The Old Westbury couple helped coordinate and pay for buses and hotel rooms for the refugees.
"They were so appreciative," Justin Vetrano says. "We learned very quickly that 'spasiban' means 'thank you.' And so they would constantly be thanking us."
Now both Neina and Justin Vetrano are back on Long Island, but they are still helping the refugees by sending money to Romania to help provide them with buses and housing.
The money is coming from a fundraiser posted on the Life Lutheran Church's website.
The Vetranos are planning another mission in Romania, saying the crisis is not over.
"U.N.'s reporting the possibility of 7 million refugees," Justin Vetrano says. "I mean, we're not even halfway there. This has only just begun."


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