During the holiday season, Refugee Services of Texas aims to highlight and share the stories of some of our amazing volunteers and clients.
You can give bright blessings by donating to RST this holiday season through our donation page on the RST website. Also, remember to mark your calendars for Giving Tuesday on November 29th! Finally, you can help RST by purchasing holiday gifts via Amazon Smile.
Mohamed, a volunteer at Refugee Services of Texas of Austin for almost two years, came to the U.S. from Egypt at the age of 10. Here he talks about one of his favorite RST memories, and reveals what inspires him to volunteer.
I came with my family to the U.S. at ten years old. When I was growing up, my family was very close to another family – the Johnsons – that lived in our community. The Johnsons were a huge help to us and, being new in America, I don’t know how we would have made it without them. I still think about that today when I volunteer with RST. It means so much to me to be able to give back to others that are going through the same things I did decades ago. The Johnsons were a blessing to my family, and I hope to be a blessing to others.
One of my favorite experiences with RST, so far, was a true example of when giving catches on like wildfire. I worked to obtain a sewing machine for an RST client that had told me she knew how to sew. I knew that a sewing machine and some supplies would allow her to have a little alterations business in her home, and that she could earn extra money for her family. I found a machine on craigslist that I was going to buy for her, but when I told the seller why I wanted to buy it, she simply gave it to me. She then asked me what else the family needed, and I told her sewing supplies. I actually had no idea what that meant though, so the seller and I went to the store together, to buy all the supplies necessary. The seller did all this without even knowing me or the refugee family, but after all, giving back does have a way of becoming infectious.
I look around and see blessings everywhere lately: not only do refugee families gain their livelihoods, one after another, through the help of RST and its volunteers, but my own family is now in its third generation in America. My daughter started college this year at the school she has been dreaming about. I couldn’t be happier. And soon our family will be all together again for the holidays.
I think everyone should give, somehow, to their community. While at times there are ups and downs, and some tasks are more rewarding than others, having such a large and positive impact on others' lives in such a short amount of time makes it so worth it! My family can continue to grow and celebrate together these days because of the helping hand I had in the past. Now I can do the same for another family and their future.
This Holiday Season you can show refugees that you welcome them by sharing their story and supporting our essential services. Visit our website at www.rstx.org to learn more about how you can help and don't forget to donate this Giving Tuesday.