The Race Home, a 5K to raise money for the Church World Service and their Family Reunification program, took place Sunday morning. The program helps reunite refugees from Iraq, Sudan and numerous other countries with their families in the United States. The Chronicle's Zarah Udwadia talked to the racers about the cause.
“Most people do not know about the refugee population living in the region, and they go largely unnoticed. This is a great way for people around the Triangle to meet their neighbors.”—Allison Ellis, a CWS volunteer.
“I’m here with about fifteen other students from the Duke School of Nursing who work with ‘Nursing Students Without Borders’. This race is a way for us to raise money towards first aid kits for the refugees that will provide them with basic medical supplies.”—Aven Garms, a student at the Duke School of Nursing.
“I think it costs about $500 dollars to help each refugee with the Family Reunification program. I’m doing my bit to help. I work with the public school system, and I know how helpful it is for the refugee kids to have this agency.”—Monica Belford, a Durham resident.
“In addition to fundraising, this event is a great way to meet some of our newest neighbors. This is the second year we’ve had this race, and though I don’t know the exact enrollment number from last year, it’s definitely higher this time.”—Rebecca Schaeffer, CWS Immigration Services Coordinator.
“My church is co-sponsoring a refugee family from Iraq, whom I’m here with today. Our goal is to sponsor one family a year. We help the families adjust in a completely new environment because I believe we should be actively participating in the community.”—Helene Brown, a Chapel Hill resident.
“I volunteer at CWS with other nursing school students, where we focus on health promotion and English as a second language classes. I know having extra volunteers really helps, and this is another way to support the great work this organization does.”—Morgan Cameron, a student at the School of Nursing.
“I’ve met the refugees that CWS assists, and they seem really happy. CWS truly helps them acclimate.”—Sarah Jones, a student at the School of Nursing.
“I’m here because I believe in this cause.”- Melissa Simmermeyer, Professor of Spanish and romance studies.