Questions Answered about Refugees coming to NWA

FOX24

Canopy NWA, the group helping to bring refugees to Northwest Arkansas, answered questions over a cup of coffee Tuesday night.

More than sixty people enjoyed coffee and conversation with Canopy NWA at Mama Carmen’s coffee shop.

The group is a nonprofit started by Northwest Arkansas residents.
Their mission is to create a place of refuge for people fleeing persecution due to race, religion or national origin.
As refugee families make their way to Northwest Arkansas, the group wanted to be there to answer any questions that might come up.
Katie Gottlieb is the Vice President for Canopy NWA. She said,”The average time is seventeen years in a refugee camp,so they come here without a lot. So we’re asking people to donate, both financially, but also if you have connections that you can use to help folks find jobs.”

Not only are they hoping to have an open discussion about welcoming refugees, they’re also looking for volunteers.

Natalie Shew is a board member for Canopy. She said, “We want the community to engage as much as possible. And in order for the organization to be sustainable, and to thrive in the community,and for refugees to feel welcomed, is to have people from the community, really engage. “

Locals were able to show support for refugees  by signing a welcome banner and holding up signs that said, “I stand with refugees.”

“We need to welcome people who come from somewhere else, to our country, to become American citizens.”

The organization hopes that by having these types of discussions, it will make locals feel more comfortable about the process.
    
The first group of refugees are expected to arrive in Northwest Arkansas next month.

If you want to get involved with helping out, the group needs volunteers to co-sponsor families, tutor kids and create welcome baskets.

For more information on Canopy visit, http://www.canopynwa.org/.

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