In our more than 100 years of service to refugees and immigrants, we have found that often the most welcoming souls are children. That is exactly what we saw in Iowa this month, reinforcing this sentiment, with Jessica Dauscher’s class of fifth graders. The class recently read the book Refugee, by Alan Gratz, earlier this year and the students were struck by how quickly life can change. But not only that, they were amazed by how simply life could become upended for these families, who were simply living their lives before forced to leave all they knew in the hopes of a better life.
They went on to learn about the Syrian refugee crisis, reading a Time magazine article about a Syrian refugee family living in Des Moines. They were shocked to find out that refugees were living in their own community!
Immediately the students decided to donate to USCRI to help support those living in their community, to help make refugee families feel more at home in Iowa. They also went so far as to make cards to give out to families that are newly arrived as a welcome to their new homes.
For someone to arrive in a new and strange place that is meant to become home, it is easy to feel isolated. However, just this small sentiment is enough to make a warm welcome.
To learn about more ways to help out refugees and immigrants in your area, learn more here.