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Why We Welcome: The Gift of Giving

Discover why giving is truly a gift and help to make a community of welcome for our new neighbors

At World Relief Chicagoland we believe in the power of holistic care for each refugee, asylum seeker, and other immigrant in our community. Your partnership in this work makes a community of welcome possible for thousands of lives each year. 

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$25 provides an adult learner with their first English Language class

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$75 helps a refugee begin their first job

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$250 provides ten women with an art therapy group through our counseling center

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$2,000 covers rent for one month for those who are in need


How do you survive in a new country when you barely speak the language and have never learned to drive?

How do you survive in a new country when you barely speak the language and have never learned to drive? Meet Breshna, who fled Afghanistan in 2021 as a 29-year-old woman all alone. Breshna struggled to hold a job and pay her rent, having no prior work experience, and suffering from the effects of past trauma. Her challenges were compounded by depression and feelings of isolation; without a car or driver’s license, she had to rely on the help of others to work, and even to go grocery shopping. She would cry for hours every day, ultimately ending up in the emergency room.

If left alone, Breshna says she would never have had a future.
But Breshna was not alone.

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At World Relief, she received intensive support with a case manager and a clinical therapist. She started to have multiple connection points with several staff members and volunteers, along with a Friendship Partner from a local church. Her isolated life was soon becoming a life filled with a community who was walking alongside her in her depression, listening to her life goals, and sitting with her when she needed help.

While nothing was fixed overnight, she welcomed these new people into her life and the support that came with it. When she couldn’t hold onto a job because of her physical and mental disabilities, she received rent assistance. She took job readiness classes and English classes with World Relief. She enrolled in the Wealth Building Program that helps participants to save towards a purchasing an asset goal – a home, vehicle, further education, or new business – offering a savings match up to $2,000 for an individual.

Breshna knew right away what she was going to save money for. She knew that support was out there for her – there were food pantries, banks offered financial classes, better paying jobs were out there – but she had no way to get there. She needed a car.

Upon enrolling in the Wealth Building Program, Breshna sat with Sasha, World Relief’s Asset Development Specialist, to create a budget and set a savings goal. Breshna hoped to save $200 a month. She said, “In the beginning I couldn’t save. Maybe $100 or $200, but then I did $500! I am hard working. In the future, maybe I will start a restaurant. And if I can improve my English, I want to work at World Relief.”

In the end, what should have taken ten months to save up for took only four! During that time, she took the driver’s training with another World Relief staff member, got her permit and then her license. Finally, she was able to go out and purchase her very own car – her first ever!

She found one that she loved and tells us that “Every day, I kiss my car!”

Now she is the one who is helping others that do not have a vehicle get to work. Her employer is impressed with the care and effort she has shown.

Breshna said, “This is my first car in America. It’s my first car in my whole life! In America, driving for everyone is very easy; but for Afghan women, it is impossible. But if you try, it is possible. I’m proud of myself.”

Breshna’s world was changed because she received multiple supports and a holistic approach. She took advantage of case management, counseling services, volunteer support, driver’s training classes, the employment program, and English language classes. It is because of your financial partnership that stories like this exist.

Will you give today and see more stories like Breshna’s unfold with us?

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