Parade, gifts and encouragement welcome family who fled Ukraine to La Jolla

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May 26, 2022 -- White Sands La Jolla recently held a welcome celebration for a local Ukrainian refugee family, complete with gift cards and a parade at the community. The family had fled Ukraine with nothing but a suitcase, and a local La Jolla woman started gathering supplies and gift cards via social media and among friends. The effort grew with every person involved.

Mary Sue Lindsay, a resident at White Sands, heard about the effort through her daughter Lindsey Fisher, the owner of Little Love children’s clothing store in La Jolla, and wanted to help. Lindsay collected gift cards for local businesses, and organized a parade at White Sands to welcome the family.

Lindsay said White Sands residents “wanted to physically hand them something and offer words of welcome. It was so beautiful watching everyone respond so positively. It was much more of a response than I was expecting. ... It was overwhelming. People felt so much joy from helping others.”

Read the article in the La Jolla Light for more information about this event.

Local television news was also onsite at White Sands, and Pat Guerrero, director of hospitality at White Sands, was interviewed by NBC in a segment entitled “Shortest parade with the most open arms.”

Watch the interview here:

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