In early December, artist Christy Mansfield of Azure Community Development Arts facilitated a fun-filled morning for refugee families in Atlanta. Christy guided parents and their children through two crafts, with each family going home with winter decorations for the holiday season. Several budding artists were overheard dreaming of weekly art classes after their session with Christy!
The Little Helpers enjoyed sharing snacks and games with a refugee family and provided gifts for 26 individuals! Founded by former refugee and news producer Tran Bui Smith, Little Helpers seeks to engage parents and their children in meaningful volunteer opportunities. Year after year, the Little Helpers have helped Inspiritus kick off the holiday season with good cheer!
Faith communities and individuals throughout the state made sure that each of the 642 individuals Inspiritus accompanies received a gift this winter. Close to 300 refugees in Atlanta and Savannah received warm coats, clothes, and toys for what was for many of them their first winter in the U.S.
Refugee and Immigration Services staff sorted and delivered gifts in Atlanta in record time thanks to a hardworking group of students from the University of Florida. As soon as finals were over, these students hit the road, making the drive up to Atlanta in order to learn firsthand about the experiences of refugees and to offer their support and assistance to Inspiritus and the families we accompany.
Circle of Welcome teams enjoyed sharing the joy of the season with families from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Burundi. One team, pictured here, used their Thrivent Action cards to host a winter potluck and celebration. Another team exchanged cultural traditions on New Year’s, sharing hoppin’ john and an Afghan dish typically eaten on the Persian New Year together with their familes.