Kim Eastman is a tireless volunteer in many roles at Interfaith Ministries. She contributes many hours as a mentor to a refugee family. Here are Kim’s thoughts about that experience.

“Refugee families do not need you to save them. They need you to help them navigate their new life–and how that looks is as different as each family.

My family is from Eritrea and they speak a language called Afar. What? Never heard of it? Neither had I until nearly a year ago–and what am I focusing on with them? Yes, I’m teaching English. There is no Google Translate–so it has been a learning challenge for all of us. Although the husband speaks English well, the wife only knew a few words when I met her.  The challenge for both of us was steep but I am so proud of her and the work she has done! She now has basic communication skills and I know will become fluent as her confidence grows. Her strength and determination are incredibly inspiring. She doesn’t need saving–she simply needs someone who wants to be her teacher and friend.

Being a Family Refugee Mentor has given me a broader perspective on the world. As well as immense respect for refugees who leave everything they have ever known, to start a new life in The United States. I am so lucky to be part of their incredible journey.”

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m going to make this place your home

–Phillip Phillips “Home”

In addition to her work with refugees, Kim regularly represents aniMeals on Wheels at many special events such as Yappy Hour, Thanksgiving volunteer meal delivery and the Pet and Senior Wellness Fair. As a member of the aniMeals on Wheels Committee, Kim helps to steer that program towards an even brighter future.

We’re so glad to recognize these contributions and we look forward to more work together. Thank you, Kim!