Stories, Smiles & Toys

There are few things better in this world than little-kid giggles. You know the kind. They range from quiet chuckles to full on belly laughs.They’re so funny and infectious. Spend a few minutes inside City Preschool, and you’ll hear all the sounds of childhood, in about five different languages.  When I started as City of

Hope Restored

I’ve joked with our staff lately about our “Great Transition”. It’s been a whirlwind month of navigating weather, school closings, staff changes (including some new hires!), funding requirements, a preschool launching, and new families arriving all.the.time.  Suffice it to say: we haven’t been bored. But as we look ahead to what 2024 holds, we eagerly

No one wants to be a Refugee

“One refugee without hope is one too many.” These are the words offered to me as I sat in a living room across from Rehema when I asked him what he would like Americans to know about the refugee process. I had done something unusual. I had reached out to ask Rehema to see if

A Nexus for Community

Hear below from Aaron Finkel, a long-time volunteer who launched our City Strings program and has recently taken over coordinating our English Buddy program:  The most meaningful thing I’ve seen is how City of Refuge creates a nexus for community to happen in so many different ways. Volunteers can meet each other and share experiences.

From Boyfriends to Childbirth

Our community, working together, truly makes Columbia a city of refuge. We see our organization as a catalyst for connecting people to people, a place where relationships can form, a place where friendships can flourish. Read below to see the impact our volunteers have in our refugee friends’ lives.  Mariea is one of our fabulous artisan volunteers;

Orchestrated Giving

Hear from Lori Stoll, Refugee Care Coordinator, who has been at City of Refuge since our beginnings and has had a heart for our refugee friends for as long as she can remember! Lori has been instrumental in paving the way for relationships to be such a critical component of our work each and every

Link Arms with Us

Joanie Nazary joined our team in June 2023 eager to help with the continued influx of Afghan newcomers. She quickly learned the ins and outs of being a Refugee Care Coordinator, working to meet the varying needs of the friends who came in each day. Check out what she has to say about generosity and

Radical Generosity

A few weeks back, I had just begun a tour of our building when I noticed a few of our staff carrying in cupcakes and gifts. They were with a woman who held a 6 month old baby in her arms. After a brief introduction, this woman proceeded to tell me (and our tour guests)

Face to Face

How do you know when you belong? When are you part of a group, rather than merely a face in the crowd? What does it mean to make personal connection? Sociologists give us data to teach us about the scope of our crisis as a lonely society. Psychologists explain how the technological devices we’ve adopted to connect with others end up separating us in unexpected ways. Pastors, at their best, share

Cruise Control

$430. That’s how much it would cost me to get to work each week if I had to take an Uber. That’s $22,360 annually. Add in $800/month (if I’m lucky) of rent and that puts me at a grand total of $31,960. I haven’t bought food yet. Or paid for utilities. Or health bills. Just