What is a refugee?
By definition: A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Every war or genocide you have heard about in the last 20-30 years (Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Dafur, etc..), many of those people are coming here. We have worked with people from the following countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Columbia, Cuba, Russia, Mexico, Vietnam, Congo, Somalia, Liberia, Togo, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma and Nepal. These people are in such great need. They have suffered hardships that most of us cannot even imagine. They have faced war, murder, starvation, loss of all possessions, rape, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. Every family has faced at least one of these. Some families have faced it all. We know countless people who have lost family members. We know children who watched their family members killed in front of them. We know children who have faced starvation. We know a man who lost all of his children and wife and father in a bombing in Afghanistan. We know a man who lost his entire family in Iraq when Saddam gassed the Kurds. We know a man whose wife was raped in front of him. The stories go on and on. These are real stories, and these people have pain that most of us cannot even imagine. These people not only have tremendous physical needs, but huge spiritual and emotional needs as well. It’s so difficult for them to adjust to life here. Imagine an African family who has never even seen electricity before, who has lived in a tent in a refugee camp for 15 years, and then comes to America with no English or education and is expected to adjust to our society; and they only have 4 to 6 months to do it. They have to learn English, get a job, learn our transportation system, banking system, and figure out how to pay their bills, etc. We can only imagine this.
We are so lucky to get to experience life with refugees. It is our heart and goal to encourage and inspire Americans to learn, gain understanding, and create compassion for the refugee community here in the United States.
We build friendships with new immigrant families by helping them with household needs by collecting donations.