Families escaping their homeland are refugees. During the escape, they are sent to any country that has agreed internationally to accept refugees. They often do not know where they are being sent until they are en route. At Sew For Hope, volunteers welcome these refugees with open arms, teach them skills and related English vocabulary and grow relationships. “They come from different cultures, different languages, different faith expressions…(and) Rita has found a way to communicate with people with all of those languages through her own heart, her love and the passion that she has to bring them into a community,” says Richard Gygi, ThriftSmart Executive Director, http://www.ThriftSmart.org.
“I was just haunted by the fact that the deck was so stacked against them here in the United States. Here they had escaped so much trauma in their old country, but they had trouble integrating into society because of their lack of English and lack of friends, just lack of ability to become ‘a part’ (of a community)” Rita says. One Iraqi student was asked what was most different for her in the United States? She said “the sky.” Accustomed to the sky dropping bombs, she said “this sky is full of hope for life.”
As Sew For Hope develops a community for so many new residents, others are invited to participate and volunteer. “Volunteerism allows people of different cultures, different aspects of life to learn to understand each other much better,” she says. Visit www.SewForHope.org to learn how.