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    wife, mom, educator, student
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  1. Sure. Most of the facts I shared are readily available online. Amira shared excellent links.
  2. Hi Creekland, I work with the refugee community near where I live. About this time last year, I got fed up with the hateful and extreme things I was hearing from "friends" and decided to get some firsthand information for myself. I called a friend who grew up in Sierra Leone, married a man from SL, and lives in the states and runs a non-profit ministry to women in SL who have disabilities either from birth or war. I asked her how I could find out the TRUTH about refugees and she invited me to a meeting where I met several refugee women as well as Americans who run non-profits which serve their community. I did not even KNOW that refugees were resettled local to me! I began helping in an after-school tutoring program for refugee children last spring, taught English to adults all summer and I am now the ESOL Coordinator for a local non-profit and continue my involvement with adult English classes and after-school tutoring. Check to see if your city is a resettlement city. You can check World Relief's website. If your city is not listed there, another city in your state might be. If that is the case, there is still the possibility that there could be a community near you because once people get on their feet, they can move to other locations. You can also check the UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees site or Facebook page. You might find information there. Catholic Charities has been involved in resettlement in different areas of the country. Another option, which requires more commitment, is to consider sponsoring a family. I had a hard time reading through this thread. I am a Christian. Our students are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist...and I do not think of ANYONE according to that. They are ALL precious people and I pray for EACH person's safety due to the climate of fear and hatred in this country. I would give my life for ANY of my students or their children. Some of the comments made here are just shameful! There are Syrian families arriving presently. I have not had any enroll in our program yet but we do have students from Yemen, Bhutan, Iraq, Eritrea, Dhbouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Congo, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Burundi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Somalia and we have a handful of students from Mexico who fled to the US from a local government corrupted by drug warlords. We serve them all equally. Things I have learned: -The vetting process is tight. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but quite honestly MANY of our students sat in refugee camps for 15-18 years. FIFTEEN TO EIGHTEEN YEARS!! We have children who have never known anything else. I will tell you that we need to fear kids wasting away in camps more than bringing their families here. The parents all voice that is their greatest fear because the extremists seek out young children and young adults who have come to the point of having no hope for anyone to CARE. The minimum is two years. I can't even think of ONE student who had such a luxury. I think the least amount of time is five. -Upon arrival, they are given three outfits of clothing for the season in which they arrive. They are taken to an apartment furnished with donations. Their children are put into school at AGE level, NOT skill level. Remember, some of these kids have never been to school, ever. Some have. There are lots of variables. They have three months to get settled, find a job, and begin learning English. In the fourth month, they must begin to repay the US for the expense to bring them here. Yes, that's right. Contrary to all the things that are spewed, they do not get a free ride. They have a certain amount of time with financial assistance before they transition to having to pay ALL their own bills and expenses. -All refugees are immigrants. All immigrants are NOT refugees. People here on VISAs are NOT refugees. This is important. People who wish to do harm have MUCH easier paths into this country AND they have the money to take them. Refugees have nothing. EVERYTHING is lost. EVERYTHING is left behind. They have no home to return to. ALL of them have fled for safety. They did not WANT to leave their home. They had no choice. -All refugees have PTSD. All refugees are stronger and more resilient than any American ever could be. Their personal stories are worse than any nightmare I could EVER have. One lady fled from border to border with her husband and children. They reached one border and guerrilla soldiers pulled all the men and older boys out, tied them to trees and lit the grass on fire around them. The women and children fled on foot as their men were burned alive. THEY STILL HAD TO FLEE FOR THEIR LIVES! The women tell of being raped in the camps. I could go on. -They want to learn English. For many, it's their third, fourth, sometimes fifth language. PTSD affects your ability to learn and the rate at which you acquire language. I have a few ladies that I do not think will ever move beyond pre-literacy. They have endured so much. They are here as widows with children. Yes, they are on welfare. It barely makes ends meet. I have other very educated and articulate students who were professionals in their country of origin but are working in factories or cleaning motel rooms because they do not have enough English to become certified and licensed here in the states. -They can take English classes, but if Americans do not befriend them and spend time with them and help them practice their English, then language proficiency is slow to come. -These are people from honor/shame societies. They are not interested in staying on welfare or mooching off anyone. They were not raised like Americans, to look out for themselves and their own individual rights. They were raised to look out for their whole family, to care for their extended family as well as their immediate families. They WANT to get on their own feet and make a living so they can sponsor their loved ones who are left behind. I have to say that I am not the same woman I was this time last year. I am a better person. I have been changed forever by these dear, dear people. I watch people who have NOTHING give more than people I know who have ridiculously too much. I see people giving and helping people that they have nothing culturally in common with, but they share the badge of suffering and that is a bond beyond any other. We kid ourselves if we say we cannot help these people AND our vets AND our homeless AND our poor. We just have to think differently. We have to quit wasting money. We can give our time, our attention, our friendship. I have seen grown men weep when I say "Come to class. You are welcome here. You belong here." I hope this has helped. I have only posted to give a voice to those I care for who have no voice.
  3. Dana Mosely is the instructor on all of our courses. I purchased mine directly from Chalkdust. They are an excellent company.
  4. (((Rosie))) What a special fella he was! I know you and Zia will miss him tremendously. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
  5. Praying for you all. May the Lord give you peace.
  6. I have family and friends in the same boat. Praying everyone gets home safe and sound OR has a safe and warm place to stay put.
  7. "Dory days" indeed!! Very encouraging...thanks for sharing.
  8. And just to add...there seems to be a lot of negative response on the hats, but I have had several women close to me battle cancer and all of them have loved a nice warm hat made by someone who KNOWS and loves them. Don't be discouraged. YOU know YOUR friend. I think she will love your idea. My friends and family members have all had folks who didn't know them as well who gave some of the other things mentioned. Perhaps your friend will also. :)
  9. Hi Cat, My neighbor spent the last year battling ovarian cancer. I made her a hat and shawl out of Caron Simply Soft yarn (which is completely washable AND dryable) and she LOVES them. My neighbor has a wig and lots of scarves, but she lost a lot of body fat through this process and she stays on the cool side body temp wise and she wears my hat more than anything. I'm going to make her a new one for this winter. This is the hat I made her. It's a free Ravelry download pattern. I chose it because the sides come down a bit over her ears and it sits on her head more like a "hat" than a toque. She said the yarn is SUPER soft and does not itch at all. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-amanda-hat This group on Ravelry has lots of great info about hat patterns and yarns suitable for chemo patients. http://www.ravelry.com/groups/chemo-cap-pattern-library As others have said, there are plenty of places to buy ready made hats, but my neighbor, who is a good friend, was so touched by the time that I put into choosing a pattern, yarn, knitting...and knowing she was in my thoughts and prayers through the whole process. She said all of that was as much a part of the gift as the hat. :) I hope the above info is helpful to you! You can do a "chemo" or "chemo hat" search on Ravelry and find more.
  10. I know! But...I'm not so sure I want to. I like paper and I don't know what I'm missing. I was just thinking that I might decide I want to know what I'm missing. lol :)
  11. The link says it's for new customers only. I was bummed because I have all print plans and I was interested in the DE.
  12. Please call 911! You don't need to exert your heart by walking 30-45 min if you believe you may be having a heart attack!
  13. Don't ever drive yourself if you think you are having a heart attack. Call 911. The paramedics are equipped to begin treating you IMMEDIATELY if you are having one and that is what enabled my father to survive the Widow Maker 3 years ago. If my mother had driven him, we'd have buried him.
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