By Beret Leone 

Sunday will be an extra special holiday for Anna Hansen, and her mother, Valentyna Zinchenko.

Hansen is an immigrant from Ukraine, who recently graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato with a Master’s in Accounting. Last month, she reached out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office, asking for help in expediting her mother’s pending visa petition. Zinchenko was living in Kharkiv, a northeastern Ukrainian city targeted by Russian forces.

With Klobuchar’s help, Zinchenko was able to come to Minnesota on April 28 - in time for her daughter’s graduation and Mother’s Day.

“After February 24, everybody’s lives have changed. For me it won’t be the same – ever,” Hansen said. “I knew that Amy was one of the first politicians in America who actually ran to the border and welcomed Ukrainian women and kids, and asked them their stories…I was like: ‘She knows, she’s seen these people, she knows what they had to go through.’ I am so thankful for everything Senator Klobuchar did to bring my mom to safety in the United States.”

Klobuchar met with the mother daughter duo Saturday.

“This is an amazing Mother’s Day story of a daughter making sure her mom got to safety,” Klobuchar said. “I am so pleased that we were able to help. So much of Minnesota’s growth has been fueled by refugees and immigrants coming in, and we’ve always had open hearts.”

Back in March, Klobuchar helped secure the release of Tyler Jacob, a Winona native who was captured by Russian forces.