Share your smile – a story of welcome

Refugee community support

“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.”

When Selma arrived in the United States in 2016, she feared mistreatment and expected a rough transition for her family. I tried to convince her for weeks that love and compassion surrounded her, but she didn’t seem to believe my argument.

One day, while I was visiting with Selma’s family, Selma said, “I believe you now. My family is safe here.” What made Selma change her perception is the smiles from people in her new community. People often greeted her with a smile everywhere she went and showed her the way.

God created each one of us with a gift, and once we realize our gift, we can change the world and make it a better place. As a newcomer, I still remember the people that stood by me and guided me throughout my journey. How about you? Do you remember the people that drove you to your first doctor appointments, the ESL/GED instructor, others supports?

The emotional and mental satisfaction resulting from helping another is a valuable gift gained from volunteering. Also, many young adults, while volunteering, can learn valuable and marketable skills that employers look for. Millions of people around the country volunteer their time to serve others and make the community a better place for all. Your time or financial support can change the life of a family in a way that will transform communities. The Refugee Center Online, refugee resettlement agencies and local non-profits in your community are great places to start.

In the end, the integration journey is long, but possible. It can be uneasy for both the refugee and the community alike. However, a simple thing, like a smile, can change the world around us for the best! So take action and do your part whether by volunteering your time or donating to a cause. Help build a stronger community that is welcoming to all.

“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” [Christie Brinkley]

Refugees shaking hands

Welcome Refugees to Your Community

As a community member you can help welcome refugees to your community.

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