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Sharing Culture and Experiences Through Volunteering

Susan Llewellyn said one of the first things she learned while volunteering for World Relief was about rice.

She started at World Relief shopping as a volunteer and got to know immigrant and refugee families where rice is a staple. Through that experience, she’s learned many different recipes and uses for rice, as well as the importance of it as a staple in many cultures.

Susan has been a volunteer at World Relief Quad Cities for 2 and a half years. In addition to grocery shopping for families, Susan has also met new arrivals at the airport to welcome them to the United States. She enjoys helping with fundraising events at World Relief, and she found she loves getting to know the people she helps.

“I appreciate sharing culture, that really means a lot to me,” Susan said.

Currently, Susan is teaching a citizenship class that she says she enjoys most of all. She helps those that are seeking U.S citizenship by teaching material on the citizenship test and helping them study so that they’re ready for the exam. Constitution, geography, history and government are all areas covered, and it’s a 10-week class that meets once a week. But her favorite part is getting to know her students over the course of the 10 week class.

“Just working with them on a one-on-one basis, it helps me get to know them and understand their struggles,” Susan said.

Her students also provide her with a deeper understanding of issues that are happening in the rest of the world, something she said she really values. For example, two of her students are from Myanmar, a place currently in turmoil and experiencing a coup.

That mutually beneficial relationship between how she helps her students and how they give back to her is what Susan finds so enjoyable about volunteering for World Relief.

“It’s a feeling of satisfaction of helping someone and a knowledge that I get to understand more about the circumstances in the world,” Susan said.

Susan admires the bravery and strength immigrants and refugees have to leave their homes and families to start a new life in a new culture and is thankful World Relief is here to provide help.

“I’ve gained an understanding of the great value of an organization like World Relief,” Susan said. “I don’t know what some of these immigrants and refugees would do if they came here without some kind of support system to help them.”

Written by Olivia Doak

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