LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– Many who recently escaped their homes in war-torn Ukraine gathered for a community event in Las Vegas Friday night, ahead of the holiday season. 

“Terrible,” Ukraine native Danylo Pychkevyst said of the war. “That’s the only answer.”

Pychkevyst is one of many born and raised in Ukraine, who now calls Southern Nevada home. 

“Two of my close relatives,” Ukrainian native Luiza Novytska said. “They are soldiers right now in the war.”

Novytska shared the agony of watching those she loves deal with unimaginable conditions a world away. 

“It’s horrible, because you want to be involved in there,” she continued. “You want to help; you want to save.”

Novytska and many others, including some who just escaped the destruction, gathered in Centennial Hills Friday night for an early holiday celebration. 

“I said what can we do to help?” Kids Zone CEO Kimberley McGee told 8 News Now. ‘And she said we need friendship; we need to connect with other families.”

McGee organized the ‘Friendsgiving’ event for Ukrainian refugees who need help adjusting after so much fear and unimaginable trauma. 

“It can be very lonely in a new country, you don’t speak the language,” McGee added.  “You don’t know where to go to do basic things.”

Novytska told 8 News Now it’s comforting to connect with others who understand the love they have for a country they’ve all left as thousands get ready to start a brand-new life here locally. 

“We realize, oh my goodness, there are so many Ukrainians here,” Novytska said. “We don’t even know that.”

Another issue many discussed is the continued blackouts across Ukraine, which can be dangerous as they deal with the country’s severe weather. 

The group that gathered on Friday is organizing several holiday fundraising events here in Southern Nevada to help those still struggling overseas.