Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- A few weeks after losing her brother-in-law in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Carolyn Manning came across an article about a family that had recently arrived in Phoenix.

The family had fled Afghanistan. After receiving refugee status from the United States, they were sent to Phoenix to begin new lives. Manning discovered they had a lot in common: Big families, religion and victims of terrorism.

"The only major difference was that Carolyn wasn't forced to flee in the middle of the night after her brother was killed," said Megan O'Connor, executive director of the Welcome to America Project.

Refugees arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. They are set up in an apartment, given a bed and basic eating utensils. After visiting the family from Afghanistan, Manning started collecting donations of household items, toys and school supplies. The idea grew into the Welcome to America Project.

"What we do is not about the furniture," said O'Connor. "We want them to know that Phoenix is a welcoming place, a place where you can make connections and feel safe to practice your religion."

Since 2011, O'Connor said they have helped more 1,200 refugee families. This year, Arizona will welcome more than 3,000 refugees, most of whom will be resettled in Phoenix and Tucson.

Christina Estes, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: