Daisy Garcia Montoya
Families gathered on Saturday June 20 at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center (SURHC) for the annual World Refugee Day celebration.
Since 2010, SURHC has helped plan and sponsor the celebration along with other organizations.
Many local organizations were in attendance; KC for Refugees, the Jewish Vocational Service, the Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Northeast Chamber of Commerce to name a few.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was drive-thru or walk up style with most participants doing drive-thru. As cars lined up, participants remained inside their vehicle as volunteers, all who wore masks and gloves to follow health guidelines, opened their back doors to place donations inside.
Participants received a pre-packaged meal from KC Burger, backpacks for children from Della Lamb Community Centers, free books from the Kansas City Public Library, a coloring book with crayons from the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and childrens’ masks and hand sanitizer from Children’s Mercy Hospital.
In addition to being a sponsor of the World Refugee Day Celebration for 10 years, SURHC helps refugees receive medical care within the first month of their arrival in Kansas City, said Fatima Mohamed, a patient care coordinator for SURHC.
“World Refugee Day is a day for us to remember and celebrate the many refugees that have been forced to flee their homes for a better life. We honor all of our refugees who have thrived and have created beautiful communities here in Kansas City and most notably on [on Independence Avenue,]” Mohamed said.
Hussein Hashi, a refugee who attended the event, said that he thought that the World Refugee Day celebration was a good event and was a supporter of many of the organizations present.
“I just want to say thank you for helping these families and cultures. God bless you,” Hashi said.