Five LaSalle businesses teamed up to repair a minivan for a newly arrived Ukrainian family.
From labor to parts, everything was completely donated with help from Radovic Automotive Inc., Motorcade Industries, Walkerville Brewery, Eastside Auto Warehouse and Enterprise Locksmith.
“Everyone that I contacted was more than willing and glad to help,” said Nick Radovic, owner of Radovic Automotive Inc.
Radovic knew that the Petrenko family was seeking refuge in Canada. He was contacted a week after they had arrived about doing some work on a van that they had recently got and decided he was going to show a little extra kindness.
He was motivated to show his support because of a similar situation his own family was in.
Radovic’s family left Yugoslavia in 1991 because of the emerging war for independence.
“Once we immigrated here, we were kind of on the same level as them,” Radovic said.
Knowing what it is like having to look for jobs, housing and transportation in a new country, Radovic empathized with the Petrenkos. Though Radovic’s family was not forced to leave, he felt inspired to fix the car up, free of charge.
Before leaving Ukraine, the Petrenko family experienced bombing near their home, as they lived very close to a military base.
The daughter, Anastasia Petrenko, already lived in Canada. When she realized her mother, father and grandmother were in the line of fire, she acted quickly to get her family out of Ukraine.
There were many things needed to help her family get settled in LaSalle, but a big challenge was finding a form of transportation.