Local 8th graders made a difference in the community last Saturday, bringing enthusiasm to tasks that normally have kids dragging their feet. The eighth graders of Kenmore’s St. John the Baptist School collaborated with a local nonprofit, Journey’s End Refugee Services, Inc., to make a Cuban refugee family’s house a true home. The class collected donated furniture and supplies from the community, and on Saturday the children and their families worked to install the items in the home, as well as to clean and beautify it.
Journey’s End is a Christian organization aimed at meeting the needs of area immigrant and refugee families, many of whom have come to this country from regions in crisis. The agency’s mission statement is to "assist [refugees] to become healthy, independent, contributing members of the community" and bringing necessary amenities to immigrant homes is just one of the many services they provide.
Journey’s End’s project coordinator, Ms. Andy Cammarata, worked with the kids to map out the items that the family would need. Cammarata says, "Building awareness in our community about these people is essential. They are extremely hard working and our agency works with them in all aspects of settling into a new community—from acquiring language skills to employment and education opportunities, and so on."
The kids also worked with teachers and parents to bring this project to life. This is an ongoing, annual effort made on the part of St. John the Baptist School. Says Cammarata, "The kids of St. John’s have truly made a difference in the lives of our local families."