March 31, 2023


My name is Kellye Dubinski and I am the Donations Coordinator and Boutique Manager here at City of Refuge. With the opening of City Boutique late last year, City of Refuge has had the ability to explore many new opportunities for both our organization and the individuals that we work with.  

One of the most emotionally impactful for myself has been our Global Artisan program. Working with our refugee friends, we are giving them the opportunity to develop their artistic skills with multiple classes in our studio including sewing, card making, jewelry design, crocheting and more. This not only allows them to learn a new skill, but also provides community for those who may be somewhat isolated at home during the day.

With others, we are offering a platform for blossoming entrepreneurs who, for the first time in their lives, have the opportunity to not only design, but develop their own businesses to promote and sell these items.  Our Global Artisan wall at City Boutique showcases our refugee artisans and their work with individual bios and the handmade artisan items they are creating.

I can’t express the impact it has had on me as I work side by side with these individuals. Their overwhelming gratitude when presented with these opportunities is more than evident.  So many thank yous given, over and over, when in reality, I want to tell them “thank you” for the opportunity to work with them. There is much to learn from people who have lost so much and yet still see the joy in the small things. 
For some, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to earn a paycheck on their own. To hand over this piece of paper that is representative of a new way of life and see their eyes brimming with tears and to know that in one small moment, we are providing confidence, strength, security, and empowerment.  If such a small transaction can impart even a fraction of what was taken from them, then I tell you what: I have the best job in the WORLD.

How does purchasing a refugee-made product have impact?  It provides financial support here as they work to rebuild their lives in a new place. It also has global impact as many refugees continually send large portions of their paychecks back home to support family that are still living in war torn countries and refugee camps. 

Please help us continue to support the beautifully diverse refugee community here in central Missouri. Stop by City Boutique and check out our Global Artisan display and take something home with you that is giving hope and security to those who need it most.

Kellye Dubinski
City Boutique & Donations Manager

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