Volunteer Support Team Member: Charles Shamess

A Reflection by Charles Shamess, a Volunteer Support Group member


Volunteering with Syrian refugee families over the past year has been a roller coaster of emotions. The anxiety that comes as we figure out how to help them settle. The joy when they find homes and jobs. I hear stories of their escapes with horror, and feel great sadness as I learn of the loved ones they’ve left behind and lost in the war.

The profound gratitude and thanks they’ve expressed to me, and many others within our community, is humbling. I’m thankful for the opportunity this has given me to help make our community stronger and more welcoming. To watch other citizens, businesses and organizations step up to assist these new residents as they integrate and settle fills me with pride. As our newest residents make their homes here, I find myself more and more grateful for what a wonderful community we share.