In recognition of the many AMIS donors who have so generously supported our work since its inception in 2019, the Board of Trustees hosted its first Donor Appreciation Night on Saturday evening, June 25, 2022. The event was hosted at the beautiful Guilford Road home of AMIS Trustee Sue Dyke and her husband, Steve.
AMIS President Anne Hill thanked guests for attending and supporting AMIS over the years and then turned the program over to three AMIS donation recipients who provided heartfelt testimonials. The first speaker, Jonas N.originally from The Democratic Republic of Congo, was the evening’s rock star! As you may have seen from the recent Freshwater Cleveland article, which describes the many twists and turns of his journey to Cleveland, illustrating the deficiencies in U.S. immigration policy. Jonas is the personification of perseverance and unrelenting hope. Now quite proficient in English, he graciously thanked all in attendance who helped him settle in his new home country.
Habibiou D., accompanied by her darling infant daughter Aichau, expressed her deep appreciation to AMIS and its supporters through her translator Judy Charlick. Habibiou relayed special gratitude for AMIS’ recent efforts to help her and her husband Rahim secure an apartment in Cleveland Heights after they lived for several months in a communal setting at the Nehemiah Mission. Rahim could not attend the Donor Appreciation event but sent his sincere thanks for the many efforts made on behalf of his family. Both Habibiou and Rahim live for the day when they can reunite with their two children, whom they were forced to leave behind in Burkina Faso in the care of their grandmother as they made the precarious journey to the U.S.
Guests were then treated to brief remarks from Estafany G., a 16-year-old student from Mexico who now attends Beaumont High School, translated by her cousin Otoniel, who translated. A beneficiary of a scholarship from the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, Estafany expressed gratitude for the many persons who have made her Beaumont education possible, including AMIS and the many women who provided transportation to and from school. Estafany expressed particular excitement for the impending arrival of her refurbished bicycle, thanks to AMIS trustee Dale Winsberg. Despite her shy demeanor and language barriers, Estafany’s excitement for her new life was apparent.
Both AMIS trustees and their guests left this event with a deepened appreciation for the many day-to-day impacts that their contributions of time and money are making in the lives of the families and individuals with whom AMIS is currently assisting to make Cleveland their new home.