FH Dallas Turns an Apartment Into a Home

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For refugees, moving to a new country is a daunting challenge filled with obstacles.
As part of our continued #FH4Inclusion 2017 partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), FleishmanHillard Dallas hosted an Apartment Makeover to help a refugee family feel welcome in their new home in America. 
We were matched with a young family of three (soon to be four) from the northeast African country of Eritrea. The office received a wish list and set to work collecting those items to furnish the family’s new home with everything from silverware to bedding.
Together, we completed everything on their wish list, donating around 300 items, from home appliances and cleaning supplies to toiletries and toys!
The event went beyond just providing and dropping off the items. Our team of nine volunteers hauled box after box into the cozy one-bedroom apartment and began to unpack everything. Every corner of the apartment was bustling with activity, with volunteers assembling a vacuum, unpacking kitchenware, teaching the family to use the new microwave and assembling a new crib for the baby. One FH volunteer, himself a father of two young girls, gleefully took on the “hardest role” of entertaining the sweet toddler.
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The mother didn’t speak English, but the smile on her face said enough. The family was incredibly gracious, and meeting them put a face to the global refugee crisis we see in headlines. The father dove right in to help us bring in the heavier items and industriously began setting up the crib with our colleague and resident handyman. Their young daughter kept our spirits high as she inspected and played with two boxes full of new toys.
As a welcome, we presented the family with a card and a recipe box full of classic American recipes, including classics like apple pie and meatloaf.
Many of us know how stressful it can be moving to a new place or new state. We couldn’t fathom how overwhelming it is to be forced out of your home, and move to a new country. We were so glad that our office was able to donate our time and treasure to make the family’s experience in their new country special.
This article originally appeared in the FleishmanHillard FH70 Blog May 19, 2017. 
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