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Oct 2009

Host a Refugee Family for a Holiday Meal

For some refugee families, this is their first holiday season in America. For others, the holidays came and went last year just like any other day.  Please consider reaching out by opening up your home to a refugee family for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about spending time with refugees:

Why are these people refugees? In their home country, they have had their safety threatened by war, lack of governmental protection, or religious and ethnic persecution.  Some of have been in refugee camps for the last 18 years.  Some of the kids left the camp for the first time when they came to America!

Where are they from? Nepal, Myanmar, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Burundi, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Do they speak English? At least one person in the family can speak English.  But they are all trying to learn by attending English classes and practicing speaking with new friends.

Do they have transportation? No.  If you are interested, they will need to be picked up and dropped off at Colonial apartments off of Azalea Avenue.

What do we talk about? The refugees are very happy to talk about their family, their journey to America, their favorite things about their home country, their religious beliefs, and new life in America, among other topics.

There is no expectation for commitment beyond a holiday meal which could happen any time during November or December.  However, if a friendship naturally develops, that would be amazing!

If you are interested in hosting a refugee family for a holiday meal, send Wendy Shelton ( an email with the following information:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Preference for refugee home country (see above)
  • Thanksgiving or Christmas time?

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