Bridge Refugee Services, Inc
A couple days ago I went to the volunteer breakfast for Bridge Refugee Services. They had a viewing of a documentary made by students at the University of Tennessee (go Vols). I was tearing up watching a mother be reunited with her family at the airport after a year of separation. Before the first family member arrived in the US a year ago, this family lived for 12 years in a refugee camp in another country that wasn't even their own. The moment that got me was a close up shot of the mother's hand turning the key in the lock to her first real home in over 12 years. I'm honored to partner with an organization that is bringing dignity, hope, and opportunity to refugees.
Photo Courtesy of Bridge Refugee Services
Bridge Refugee Services is a nonprofit agency operating in Knoxville and Chattanooga that is committed to providing protection and assistance in refugees’ inspiring journey. Regarding refugees, Bridge Refugee Services recognize their plight, their resilience and their willingness to join our community and make it their own. They hope for others to become part of America’s proud tradition of welcoming refugees and have many opportunities for volunteers to help refugees by working together, as they build lives in a new land.
I sat down with Drocella Mugorewera and heard a portion of her story, and her involvement with Bridge Refugee Services where she serves as the Executive Director. Having arrived in the U.S. as a refugee herself in 2009, Drocella spoke with such passion as she explained how they desire to meet a refugees immediate need of housing, work towards self-sufficiency, learn English, become employed, and get involved with their community. She has experienced all of it and I was so encouraged by her heart for other refugees.
They rely heavily on volunteer work and have programs that range in levels of time commitments from greeters to apartment furnisher/shopper (umm yes please) to grant writer and much more. If you are local to Knoxville, check out their opportunities on their website.