Owners of St. Peters game store travel to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

ST. PETERS (KMOV) – In a sea of ​​cards, clothes and Pokémon, Valeria Trull keeps a small tip jar out front of the store to remind people who walk into her store that every support counts to help her family and loved ones. in Ukraine.

“My whole family is currently in Ukraine, as are everyone I love,” Trull said. “My parents, my mother, my father, two little sisters, my sister’s husband, two old grandmothers…”

Trull married and moved to the United States with her husband Brian over two years ago and opened her toy and game card store, PokéNerds, in St. Peters. The shop has quickly become a local favorite among Pokemon fans of all ages.

“We bring a lot of positive emotions to the community, I hope,” she said.

While his new life is in the United States, the past month has been a struggle as Ukraine continues to wage war against Russia. His family chose to stay in their home near kyiv.

“I was supposed to be in Ukraine right now. I had tickets like March 26 because my dad has a birthday,” she said. “He’s going to be 50 on April 2. We were [going to] get the cake and everything and now I don’t know when I’m going to see them again.

She wanted to find a way to continue helping her community in Ukraine, so she and her husband flew to Poland. They spent three weeks helping Ukrainian refugees enter the country.

“We were also like going to train stations, the places where the most refugees are and they just need all the basic things, like basic food and clothes, babies need diapers and other things,” Trull said. “We asked for Polish volunteers and we bought this material from the aid centers for Ukraine.”

They have not forgotten to bring with them a little joy from home.

“[We] brought toys from our children’s store, like Pokemon plushies. They were extremely happy.

Trull says it feels good to have helped hundreds of families, especially women and children, to access basic needs.

“They lost their homes, they left their men behind, like fathers, husbands and sons,” Trull said. “And they’re just like, they’re kinda lost.”

She also wants her community on the subway to know that so much help is still needed, she said.

“I want people to know, to care, maybe to talk with their representatives, with officials, asking for more help for Ukraine: both military and humanitarian,” she said.