Sauna Aid is near and dear to our hearts, and not just because it’s sauna related. The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine has affected countless lives–one of those is our Social Media Manager, Kat. We’re really grateful to Kat for her bravery in sharing something so personal, and we trust that her story will bring goodness where it is desperately needed. Read on for more of Kat’s story and learn how you can help us shine a little light in this dark world.
If you're in the San Diego area, please join us Saturday March 11th from 3pm to 7pm at Pacific Beach for a coastal sauna + cold plunge experience! We will be joining other sauna enthusiasts from around the world to benefit Sauna Aid. We will be posting details on the Overland Instagram page. Read more about the global event on SaunaTimes.com
–The Overland team.
My name is Kateryna and I'm 26 years old. I was born and raised in Smila, Ukraine, a smaller town a couple hours south of Kyiv. This was my home for almost all of my life. On the 24th of February 2022, my life, and the lives of all Ukrainians drastically changed. It felt so unreal, living the worst nightmare you could imagine. It's hard to even describe how events like this can make you feel, when it happens in your country, your city where you grew up and know every street and every hidden spot that stayed in your memory since you were a kid. Seeing the places you visited and loved turned to rubble is a horrific feeling, feeling that I never imagined I would experience.When the war started my dad was working in Poland, and my mom was in Ukraine, home alone, woken by the sirens blaring throughout our small town. I can't even imagine the fear she felt, and the fear she had to overcome.
I spent the following days trying to come up with a plan for my mom's escape to safety. But she, as many Ukrainians refused to give up hope and run, so she chose to stay home and pray this nightmare will be over soon. The following months everything got more and more traumatic for her, spending more nights than I can count huddled in a bomb shelter, parking garage, or sleeping on our bathroom floor.
One of the worst feelings in the world is when you are trying to sleep and don't know if you will be there the next day.In October through November 2022 Russian troops targeted numerous crucial power stations, those keeping our people warm and with electricity. Millions were left without heat through this harsh winter, resorting to any other means of warmth.
My heart fills with pride for the strength and resilience of my people and their inability to be persuaded to give up and let the bully country take over. But my heart also aches for the pain and suffering all of my friends and family have and will endure.
I am very grateful to be living in the United States with my husband, and to be part of the Overland Sauna team where I can help make a difference. We are proud supporters of Ukraine, and proud of our association with Sauna Aid. Sauna Aid is focused on helping Ukrainian citizens and military survive these unbearable conditions. Please join us and help us deliver as many Saunas to Ukrainians fighting for their freedom bringing them even the smallest bit of joy and warmth.