A reflection by Confluence Year member Nicole Hamme
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already approaching the two-month anniversary of my new job with the Community Refugee and Immigration Services. Although I don’t get to work with them as much as I’d like, the refugee children have especially unlocked a new place in my heart. Their selflessness and bravery for entering a new, uncharted territory with their families in hopes of a better life free from war and violence astonishes me. They have said goodbye to an old life and one might associate this experience as something wounding, but their smiles hardly show it.
Below is a poem I wrote while driving a newly arrived Somalian family to their doctor appointment. The youngest son, just shy of four years old, was beaming with happiness as we drove through Columbus, pointing out the buildings and admiring his new world with wonder. His happiness was so contagious, it left an imprint on me for the rest of the day.
￼￼￼￼he’s yet to know the fragility of the human heart,
and I pray he’ll never have to, for his father, and sisters and sweet grandmother who smells of honey and spice, will stitch
Take some time to hear from ESC Corps Member Gabriela Machado about her experience working with the Hoboken Shelter during her 2016-17 Episcopal Service Corps year with NEWARK ACTS.
“Since moving to New Jersey in September for my year of service with the Episcopal Service Corps (NEWARK ACTS) I have been volunteering at the Hoboken Shelter during the 11am – 3pm lunch. They shelter 50 people nightly, serve 500 meals daily, host 1,000 showers weekly, and provide support services such as case management, counselling, job and life skills training, creative arts workshops, emergency homelessness prevention grants, and permanent supportive housing solutions.
Volunteering at the Shelter has been a real joy, and I think that is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the dedicated and wonderful members of staff make sure that everyone has fun while volunteering – be it chopping carrots, shucking corn, wiping counters, serving lunch, doing dishes, folding envelopes and keeping the kitchen running. Pictured holding the sign is Q, the chef on Mondays through to Wednesdays. His stories, his cheerful disposition, his jokes, and his CHICKEN (y’all should come just to try his chicken and gravy) always makes for an enjoyable time at
As ESC welcomes our 2015-16 class of corps members, we look back at 2014-15 and beyond. Click here or on each page below to read ESC’s Summer 2015 newsletter!