Georgia loves refugees.
New American Pathways loves our volunteers.
The journey of new Americans is a tough one, filled with uncertainty and questions. Once a refugee family arrives in the United States and New American Pathways starts helping them establish a life in their new home, there are still moments of uncertainty and questions. In addition to our dedicated staff, we entrust a trove of wonderful volunteers to help ease this transition.
New AP engages more than 1,000 volunteers to set up apartments, transport new Americans to medical appointments, provide in-home English instruction, be friends to our afterschool students, help organize our clothing and supply closets, and more. To thank these individuals for their dedication, New AP hosts an annual event called Breaking Bread Together in which volunteers, donors and staff come together to break bread. This year it was more like break mac and cheese, which was delicious (thank you Clarkston High School culinary team)!
This year’s event focused on healthcare and self-care. We featured two videos directed and produced by Purple States director John Kennedy that focused on the mental welfare of the Bhutanese refugee community and the tight-knit community of mothers in a Gwinnett County mobile home park. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which also supported the Breaking Bread event, these videos created a backdrop and background information for the panel discussion.
New AP’s own staff, Padam Giri and Sarah McCormick, served as panelists, alongside global women’s health advocate Dr. Lillian Schapiro, Purple States film director/producer John Kennedy, and New AP volunteer Michael Purser. Breauna Dorelus, Service and Volunteerism Manager, facilitated discussion around the issues raised in the films, drawing on the unique backgrounds and perspectives of our panelists, and drawing in the audience for questions as well.
With the theme of self-care, New AP ensured that guests were relaxed during their time at the Clarkston Community Center. We treated our guests to a southern meal prepared by the Clarkston High School culinary team and covered the tables in butcher paper that guests could color on to their hearts’ content throughout the program. Each guest received a small New AP coloring book as a gift to keep the calm close at hand.
New AP appreciates all the hard work our volunteers dedicate to welcoming the refugee community in Georgia. We send a special thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Purple States TV, our panelists, and our event sponsors – Adriana Varela, Anna Apostolou, and Tom and Olga Rawls – for making this inspirational event possible.
And there is more to come! Be on the lookout as we are gearing up to launch a volunteer recognition program in the coming months. Who will receive an award at the next Breaking Bread Together in 2019?
Interested in learning more about the culture of health and well-being? Check out all the videos produced by Purple States TV through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project, Our Path to Your Health, here.
Share your thoughts about the videos and their impact by completing this survey, too!