Combining two worlds
I had the honor of throwing an event with Jenica, and Jane.com where refugee women and internet influencers came together to celebrate motherhood and women-hood. The Utah Refugee Center brought beautiful and courageous women from Somalia, The Congo, Sudan and Burundi, so that we could teach them a little bit about Mother's Day. But I think we ended up learning so much more from them. The stories behind these women are inspiring, tragic and unbelievable. They've suffered and sacrificed so much in bringing their families to the United States to find peace and freedom. This event all came about because my incredible little sister works at the Utah Refugee Center. She spends her days organizing volunteers, sorting donations, communicates regularly with refugee leaders, oversees accounting of inventory and distribution and also helps with social media management. She pretty much helps in keeping the organization running! The other night she came over to play with Scar and Welles. While she was here she asked if we could run to Walmart because one of the refugee girls she had visited that day said that she hadn't gone to school that week because she didn't have shoes that fit. Together we picked out a pair of Ked's that she took to a very grateful eight-year-old. She's amazing and selfless, so this is the perfect job for her. When she came to me with the idea for an event to integrate these women of two very different worlds, I jumped on it! I've been trying to think of a way to contribute in making some of these families transition in the states a little easier. I was thrilled to have a chance to do so in even the smallest way.
It was so fun to sit, chat, hold their little ones and get to know these women a little better. They are very similar to the rest of us but have been through difficulties some of us could never imagine. One women talked about having two sets of twins. One twin from each set passed away in their toddler years. She also lost her husband. With tears filling in the women's eyes who listened to her story, she said "It's life." It's life? Not a life most of us are familiar with. The things some of these women have been through are heartbreaking. But they told inspiring stories and left us all feeling incredibly blessed. Please download the app "Serve Refugees" to find ways you can help. There are even small ways you can contribute that aren't very time consuming. There are lots of options on the app. Please spread the word and spread goodness!
A HUGE thank you Jane.com who sponsored the event and also helped us throw it! They are so generous. And thank you to all the contributors, including Blue Lemon of Highland, UT for providing food, Me Oh My Couture for the amazing cookies, Freshly Picked for all the baby mocs, Fawn Design who provided diaper bags for all the refugee women, Cents of Style who gave bracelets with encouraging messages to both the refugee women and the influencers, Copper Perl who gave nursing covers and bibs to the refugee ladies, and a beautiful musical number by Winston and Jillyn Egan. And ----- It was a beautiful night of combining cultures. So thankful to have been a part of it.