We hosted a volunteer appreciation block party, transforming the nondescript alley behind our office into a festive space decked out with string lights, gold confetti, balloons and colorful table settings. In addition to his official Director title, Kerry Ham was also the event’s unofficial grill master. He spent most of the day preparing chicken and steak for the 100+ staff and volunteers in attendance. In case you have not seen our office map, our staff hails from all over the world. So naturally, the menu was a potluck style international feast. Afghan musicians entertained our guests, children played corn hole and other outdoor games, and most importantly, staff were able to express their appreciation for and connect with volunteers.

Volunteering at World Relief is a unique experience. Good Neighbor Team volunteers, for example, commit to walking alongside and supporting refugee families for six months. During the block party, we had an open mic session where volunteers shared stories about working with refugee families, and most of these stories were less about the ways they helped our clients and more about the ways our new refugee neighbors changed their lives.

Thank you, volunteers! For the countless miles you have logged taking our clients to appointments, for the late night airport pickups to welcome our families, for your donations that help us furnish apartments, for opening up your homes, for your time, energy and support. We could not do our work without you!