Savannah Celebrates a Great Start to the New Year!

Staff, clients, and volunteers at Lutheran Services of Georgia's Savannah office had a great start to 2014! In January, we celebrated the birth of Elisabeth Deidre Sang, Savannah Refugee and Immigration Services's first citizen baby. Elisabeth is the newest member of the Sang family, a refugee family resettled in June 2013.The Rock of Ages Clothing Closet, Candler Hospital, Bible Baptist Church, and Eden Village all graciously provided in-kind donations to assist with clothing and furnishing Elisabeth's nursery. Elisabeth's four siblings--Ngai, Nam, Johnatan, and Van Tui--welcomed her into the world with love and excitement.

In February, LSG's Savannah office recruited new staff members and volunteers that will support our refugee resettlement and employment placement services. Sarmad Hameed, previously the Administrative Assistant for LSG's Atlanta office, accepted a promotion to become the full-time Reception & Placement (R&P) Case Manager. Sarmad is bilingual in Arabic and English and has already made great strides in building relationships in the community. Max Youngblood is excited to serve as the new Employment Specialist and Morgan Francisco, our new Logistics Coordinator, is ready to respond to all donation inquiries.

Dedicated volunteers and interns have joined LSG staff in helping clients of all backgrounds and ages on the journey to self-sufficiency. Felix Montanez, an attorney for Georgia Legal Services, is a Savannah native and bilingual in Spanish and English. Felix generously volunteered over 40 hours of his time in January and February, assisting with case file management and creating a weekend ESL class at the Savannah State Library. Anine Picard, a retired county school administrator, provided more than 60 hours in February, transporting clients to medical appointments and advocating for refugees in the community. Anine felt called to volunteer with LSG because she was once a new immigrant. After leaving her native Norway, Anine needed to learn how to communicate and adapt to American culture, and she wants to help other newcomers do the same.

Thanks to new staff, volunteers, and Elisabeth's birth, January and February were exciting months for LSG's Savannah office. We can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds!