Welcome Al Heeti Family!

Welcome Al Heeti Family!

The Al Heeti family has arrived! On Monday, February 13, around 11:55 PM, they touched down at Louisville International Airport. Their adventure began at the Bagdad, Iraq airport where they boarded a plane to Amman, Jordan. From Jordan, they flew to Chicago, Illinois and from there caught the flight that landed in Louisville. Needless to say, they were a bit tired when they arrived! A group of JCC folks met them at the airport including Janet Beck, Tommee Clark, Ben Florence, Ben Gritton, Nikki Kovacs, Diane & Doug Meister, Edwin, Heather, Max & Tony Thomas, and Nancy Wortley. Lee Welch from Kentucky Refugee Ministries also came. We worked with her all those years ago when we sponsored our first two refugee families from Bosnia: Elvir & Aida; and Dzevad & Alisha and Ajla. The Al Heeti’s will be Lee’s last family to work with as she is retiring in March. She has been a vital person in the welcome and resettlement of hundreds of refugees to Louisville.

Mazin Al Heeti (62), Rajaa Marsool (52) and Abdullah (20) Al Heeti will be living in an apartment on Goldsmith Lane. There is a family from Iraq which lives below them, so they will have some folks to get to know who will have experienced the move to America as well. Over the next few days, they will be filling out all sorts of paperwork as they adjust to living in their new homeland. We will be looking for ways for them to meet people and have conversations in English. Mazin worked with the United States forces as a translator during the Iraq War. His work qualified him and his family for special visas to enter the country. As time goes by, they all three will be looking for work in an effort to become self-sufficient within three months. I believe they will achieve their goals as they strive to become good citizens of Louisville, Kentucky and the United States.

On behalf of Emily DeVuono, Chair of the Resettlement Team and the team members, let me say a huge Thank You to everyone who donated furniture, household items, kitchen ware and food! We managed to set up a nice place for the family to live with all that generosity. A special Thank You to Janet Beck, Judy Edwards and Diane Meister for some extra cleaning in cupboards and drawers, plus Nikki Kovacs, Mini Wright, the Thomas family and Kevin Manning’s movers for all their efforts getting everything up the stairs and put away in the apartment. I watched as all these folks gave 100%! Thanks to Ben Gritton for trying to keep up with all the donations as they arrived or were promised. Of course, we had more than enough items to fill one apartment! So, we will be calling KRM to collect them for other refugee families in need. Our generosity has multiplied like fish and loaves!

Don’t forget to purchase tickets to the Clifton Pizza fundraiser on March 6 as soon as you can so we will have enough pizza on hand! The proceeds will be used for our resettlement efforts as well as for KRM’s continuing needs. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Joyful Spirits Band! Come and join us for an evening of food, fellowship and fun while supporting our resettlement of the Al Heeti family!

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