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    Warmth, friendship, and an extra dose of generosity

    Day 272

    Cozy Connections

    Volunteers Mohamad, Dylan and Karlie met for the first time at IIM at our ‘Spread a Little Warmth’ event, and they all happened to all sit down at the same table together. While Dylan and Karlie live in Minneapolis, Mohamad was one of about 15 volunteers from Global MN visiting for a few weeks from the Middle East! Even though their time in Minnesota was limited, Mohamad and his traveling group made it a point to explore the different volunteer opportunities that are offered in the Twin Cities.

    Before we knew it, the trio had a fully completed, cozy fleece tie blanket! The three held it in the air and took a selfie to commemorate the time they spent together before moving onto the next fabric set. Not only was there a new blanket, but the creation of a new friendship!

    While attendees began to say their goodbyes, Dylan lifted a bag from beneath the table and asked if there was a designated area for additional donations. Many of the people who came to IIM also brought along donations to be packaged and gifted with the blankets when they were sent to newly arrived families!

    There were brand new stuffed animals, including a sequin shark brought by a young boy who wanted to share a shiny new toy with another child whom he had never met. A woman named Roni attended the event with her partner and three children, and they came with a paper bag of pre-made blankets to add to the warm items for new families.

    Though there was not a direct call to bring supplementary donations to the event at IIM, volunteers quickly filled moving carts with gifts. Boxes overflowed with toys, scarves, hats and a variety of colorful books that IIM staff would be able to deliver to new families!

    From his bag, Dylan revealed a brand-new copy of “Olive the Other Reindeer,” saying that it was his all-time favorite book growing up. He said that his mother would read it to him over and over again. Dylan wanted to share that joy with someone else, so with the anticipation of the event, he set out to find a new copy of “Olive the Other Reindeer” to mirror the copy that he still has set upon a shelf at home from when he was young.

    Before placing the book with the other gifts, Dylan sat down at a table and wrote out a personal note to the next recipient of his favorite story. The message read, “This is my favorite childhood book. My mother would read it to me; I have many great memories from this book.”

    The connections that were made at IIM, whether they were in person or through a heartfelt gift, spanned languages, continents and experiences. The event brought together people who are passionate, curious, hopeful, and generous with the gifts they give. I think it’s safe to say that at the end of the day there was definitely more than a little warmth spread to the Twin Cities’ newest families!

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight

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    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!

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    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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