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The Path to Citizenship

Volunteer Autumn Gross does a little bit of everything.

Throughout her seven and a half years at World Relief Quad Cities, Autumn has done grocery shopping, transporting clients to appointments, teaching English, helping in the office, setting up appointments and translating, as she’s fluent in Spanish.

Right now, she helps coordinate their monthly food pantry.

“It’s just really rewarding to be able to be involved with so many cultures without leaving the QC,” Autumn said. “Just being able to meet so many new people and give them that support that they need.”

For the immigrants and refugees that are involved with World Relief, that support means everything.

Autumn said that the most memorable thing about her almost eight years at World Relief is watching people adapt to the culture and eventually gain citizenship. She loves getting to know them for years while they work up to it, and when they finally succeed, it’s a feeling of triumph.

One woman in particular Autumn had a relationship with, but she moved out of the Quad Cities. Despite the distance, Autumn said one day the same woman messaged her on Facebook, excited because she got her citizenship. Autumn said it made her so happy to hear her achieve her goal after everything she went through to be in this country, and she is thankful for how World Relief gives people the support they need.

“I just think World Relief is really cool because it’s a family,” Autumn said.

Written by Olivia Doak

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