Creating Connections, Building Hope in 2020
The stories of ACRS clients touch people's hearts in the most unexpected ways.
Basim Mohammedameen lived in Iraq and spent nearly a decade setting up camps for U.S. soldiers. He moved to Seattle in 2016 to make a better life for his children. Last year, he enrolled in ACRS' Ready to Work program, which offers ESL and digital literacy courses to low-income residents. After his night shift as a janitorial supervisor, Basim sleeps for a few hours, takes his son to school, then heads to class to learn English and computer skills.
“I’m so tired, and I want to sleep because I’ve been working all night. But I’m happy when I come to school," Basim told The Seattle Times, who spotlighted his story in their Fund for the Needy campaign.
Toni Weschler read Basim's story in the paper and was so touched, she wrote him a card of encouragement and mailed it to ACRS.
“I was so moved the first time I saw the picture of Basim at his early-morning class after working until 3 a.m. the night before. He exemplifies all that is good about immigrants. He is clearly a humble but extremely hard worker who left his beloved homeland to pursue a better life for his children. I wish him nothing but the best," she said.
A couple of days later, Toni was riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island when she happened to sit next to Alex Olins, who oversees the Ready to Work program. Toni excitedly shared her story with Alex, and Alex tracked down the card Toni mailed to Basim - just in time for the Ready to Work graduation party.
At the party, Alex presented Toni's card to Basim. He smiled and cradled the card in his hands. "I love this country," he said.
Thank you for helping create connections that build hope, opportunity and voice for our communities. If you haven't done so already, please consider making a contribution to ACRS and help us start 2020 strong.
Wishing you a happy 2020!
Asian Counseling and Referral Service