The Gauntlet

SSES to support local refugee relocation program

Saint Stephen's has partnered with the Diocese of Venice in a holiday giving project. Advisories will create "welcome baskets," filled with household necessities for refugees who have relocated to the area.

Emily D'Amico, Managing Editor

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Imagine stepping off of an airplane in a country where you don’t speak the language. The sights, the sounds, the colors, the smells, everything is unfamiliar to you. This is your new home.

As the holiday season rolls around every year, Saint Stephen’s wants to do what they can to give back to the community. This year, the SSES has chosen to join forces with a local refugee relocation organization to make “welcome baskets” for refugees who have just arrived in America from adverse conditions in their home countries.

These baskets are to be filled with every day necessities, from measuring cups to water bottles.

When refugees come to America, they come with almost nothing but the clothes on their back. They’ve spent years going though interviews, health checks, and filling out paper work, only for the chance to escape war, religious prosecution, or simply find safety.

Courtesy of Largo Public LIbrary
A flyer created by the Largo Public Library, suggesting baskets for people to donate.

The Largo Public Library has taken part in a similar programs, where patrons have been encouraged to create baskets and drop them off at the library.

Saint Stephen’s is encouraging advisories to take a moment to be thankful for what they have, and to realize that not everyone has the same resources that they do. Advisories are encouraged to create a basket, each member donating one or two items, which will then be picked up by the Diocese of Venice, a church that has developed a program dedicated to helping refugees.

The Gauntlet spoke with a representative from the Diocese of Venice.

“We guide people through the culture shock and help them get on their feet,” says Yuri Kaplun, a refugee from western Ukraine, who now works for the Diocese and is the head of the refugee services provided by the church.

Attached is a flyer created by the Largo Public Library. The flyer has several different suggestions for different types of baskets and what should be donated.

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About the Writer
Emily D'Amico, Managing Editor

Emily D'Amico is a new writer for The Gauntlet 2018-2019. She enjoys technical theater work behind the scenes and being a member of the cheerleading team...

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