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    Simple Goes a Long Way

    DAY 55

    Making a Household

    Changemakers 365 is in Minnesota for just a little while longer. We’re reaching out to get to know new neighbors and to boost the efforts of organizations and individuals doing great work with local refugee communities.

    Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is one of those organizations. On Day 55, we did what the folks at LSS do every day – help refugees get settled in their new homes. The team at LSS gave us a few families to go and visit – families who needed a few additional household items to get settled. So we headed out to visit the Alis, the Mohamuds and the Abanoor families in St. Paul.

    We brought with us just a few basic things the families had said they needed. One family got a vacuum cleaner, another requested a microwave – and we delivered everyone some basic items like a colander and toilet paper. But we soon learned that a friendly face – eager to help – was much more valuable to the families than anything we had brought there with us.

    At the Abanoors, Mohamed offered us some tea. He, his wife Asli and their two-year old daughter Shukri had come to Minnesota in November from Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp. They’re still getting used to Minnesota. “For us, it’s like we’re babies again. We’re taking everything slowly. When we first arrived, we stayed in the apartment. Little by little, we’re sitting up, crawling and walking – getting used to Minnesota in baby steps.”

    After awhile, Mohamed brought out a medical bill he had received. “What do I do with this?” Mohamed understood that it was a bill he needed to pay, but he didn’t know how to do it. We showed him how to use the remit envelope so that his payment would arrive where it needed to go. On our way out, we discovered their building had no outgoing mail service – so we showed Mohamed what a USPS blue mailbox looked like and where to find the box closest to his house. He was relieved to know how it all worked.

    To the Mohamuds we delivered a microwave. They hadn’t had one in Somalia nor in the refugee camp in Ethiopia where they’d lived the last nine years. “Will you show us how it works?,” Osman, father of four, said. Osman quickly picked up how to work the machine and we went through all the dishes in the cabinet and pointed out what could go in and what could not – NO METAL!

    These are simple conversations and explanations that the team at LSS has with newly arrived refugee families every day – but they make such a big difference helping people feel at ease and in control of their own lives. Another example of doing the doable making a huge impact!

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    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!


    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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