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Volunteer Stories

01/10/2022 02:03:50 PM


Lauren Park

Najeb, Maryam, and their two toddlers moved into a home on our property in mid-December. Since that time many volunteers have helped them get settled and established in the United States. Here are a few stories related by volunteers:

“The boys are adorable. They love to greet you at the door and wave and say, “Hi!” Once you are inside, they challenge you to a soccer game or show you that they are already learning the sounds that all their zoo puzzle animals make.  On a recent trip to the playground, the boys giggled and dashed around, delighted by every slide and swing.”

“My family and I were walking down the Pearl Street Mall for the family’s first time seeing their new town’s downtown. The street cart vendor near the Courthouse (Chiri’s Momo Delights) called out “Where are you from?”  Najeb realized the man was talking to him. Najeb answered and the man shouted with joy. “I’m from Kashmir!  We’re so glad you’re here!  Welcome to the best place in America!  I was a refugee many years ago and love this place!”  He introduced himself as Sanjay, wanted to know all about Har HaShem as the family’s sponsor, thanked HHS so much for helping the family, and had the volunteer write her contract information and the HHS name. I think Najeb and family felt like celebrities! They felt so welcomed!”

“I was driving the family to a prenatal visit at Clinica Healthcare in Thornton. On the drive, Najeb had a scheduled FaceTime with his family in Kabul. His mother was on the phone along with at least five other family members. Najeb’s mother apologized for not speaking English but thanked us for helping her family settle in the U.S. Najeb’s whole family was so happy to see him and know he was okay. Maryam was laughing with them. They all seemed so relieved & happy. ”

The Afghan Family Resettlement Team has been busy!  With the help of many volunteers, during the last month, the family has:

  • Moved into our Baseline house with the help of twenty volunteers, including pre-teens and teenagers.
  • Applied for federal and state benefits available to Afghan refugees.
  • Opened savings and checking accounts at First Bank.
  • Learned how to shop for groceries.
  • Received a library card at the Boulder Public Library as well as a free Internet hotspot from the library.
  • Attended prenatal appointments.
  • Made appointments for medical and dental screenings.
  • Begun English as a Second Language sessions several times a week in their home.
  • Been welcomed at the Boulder Islamic Center for prayers.
  • Been taken a tour of the Pearl Street Mall.
  • Been accompanied to several playgrounds (Our neighbor St. Andrew Presbyterian has kindly allowed our family free access to their playground.)

The Employment Team is meeting in order to evaluate job opportunities for Najeb. It has provided him with training materials so that he can learn sufficient English, with the help of a volunteer tutor) to pass his driver’s license test and his commercial driver’s license test.  

Two volunteer coordinators have spent hours reaching out to the scores of congregants and community members who have volunteered to support the family.

We are so appreciative for the outpouring of support and good wishes from our community! Thank you all for your kindness and generosity. There is still much work to be done and three ways that you can help support this family:

  1. Maryam’s baby is due on February 5th! Consider donating a baby item from the Baby Registry for Afghan Family
  2. Make a tax-deductible gift to Har HaShem to reimburse Har HaShem for the family’s housing expenses, including rent and utilities. Or donate funds directly to the family for future use at their discretion. Go to Support Our Afghan Family for more details on both options and to make your monetary gift.
  3. We have added additional slots to the Volunteer Sign-Up. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers to work with Najeb on financial planning and budgeting. And we need postpartum help for Maryam, i.e., volunteers who are willing to cook, clean and spend time with the boys while she takes care of the baby and herself. Go to Afghan Family Volunteer Opportunities.
Sun, July 21 2024 15 Tammuz 5784