by Shahim Shaar, student, age 18
I came to America with my family from Syria in late 2014 after we had spent most of our savings surviving the war. We were in a terrible financial situation, and we needed to save every dollar we could. Unfortunately, we had no one to advise us or guide us in this situation. We were living in a very rent-expensive apartment without knowing that there were cheaper apartments available, we were going to a pharmacy that was far more expensive than Walmart, no one gave us any guidance or advice about anything.
We were very lost, and in those first months of life in America we were unable to save any money. If we had people to support us and give us advice about life in the US, we would now be in a much better financial standing. We were lucky because I had some English language skills, and that helped us a little in navigating our way through the very stressful beginning stage of life in America. If my English wasn’t as good, I think we would have been doomed. That is why refugee support groups and volunteers are such an important asset; they help us –the clueless refugees– through the arduous process of assimilation.
Financially supporting those groups and volunteers gives them the ability to help refugees in becoming independent, secure, and happy. By donating to this wonderful group, you would be making a very tangible and positive difference in a refugee family’s life.