RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Thousands of people in North Carolina are glued to their phones and televisions, waiting for news of their families in Ukraine.

Monday marked the fifth day of the Russian invasion and attack on the country.

CBS 17’s Hayley Fixler has family in the western part of Ukraine, near Romania.

For now, they are not under attack, but they are using this time to do whatever they can to help get people out of Ukraine, safely.

“I wish nobody would know what it is [like] to have rockets above your head when the sky is blue. And when you wake up, not from your phone alarm, but from the [bomb siren],” said Lea.

Lea is one of Fixler’s cousins. Her last name will not be used for safety reasons. The 24-year-old is at school in Romania now, horrified at what’s going on in her home country.

“It’s just crazy. I have no words to describe it. It’s sad. It’s very sad,” said Lea.

Her father, another cousin of Fixler’s, has refused to leave Ukraine.

“I know he’s doing a great job just by staying in Ukraine and being there and not running away,” Lea explained. “Because he had actually a chance to do it, when it first started.”

Instead, he’s trying to help those in the areas that are being targeted by Russian bombs and military attacks.

“He’s helping the refugees not die [as they] wait in the queue to the border. Some people are waiting there for two or three days,” she added. “They’re hungry, it’s cold. They are very, very, very tired, and exhausted psychologically and physically.”

Soon, Lea will head to the Romanian side of the border.

“I got a couple of phone calls today [saying] it’s an emergency. Like ‘we really need you,” she said. “I’m one of them. I’m one of us. And I’m a human. I feel that I cannot sit at home and watch all of this. I just cannot.”

Lea and Fixler both have grandparents who are Holocaust survivors. Lea’s family stayed in Europe.

She told Fixler that hearing the stories about the war and the concentration camps, makes her terrified to think what could happen if people weren’t bravely stepping in to help.

“[There] wasn’t one day that I didn’t cry. But at the same time, I don’t even know how to explain this feeling when you cry, because it’s so sad,” Lea said. “But at the same time, you are so proud. You’re so proud that people are uniting.”