| By Tara Blair, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Gale |
In 1983, horrified by reports of political torture and murder in El Salvador, a group of Detroiters came together to help refugees who fled that country and were arriving in the city in droves due to its proximity to Canada—just like that, Freedom House was born. Freedom House is a temporary home for survivors of persecution from around the world who are seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. Their mission is to uphold a fundamental American principle, one inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, of providing safety for those “yearning to breathe free.”
Currently, Freedom House is home to 40 refugees, 13 of whom are children. They fulfill residents’ legal, medical, language, and resettlement needs along with basic living care and necessities with a 91% success rate of residents exiting from the program into permanent housing without further subsidies. As you can imagine, Freedom House appreciates all the help they can get—and here at Gale, we couldn’t wait to jump on board.
We began our journey with a company-wide announcement to gather gently-used or new items such as clothes, shoes, toothbrushes, diapers, and much, much more throughout the entire month of May. After collecting boxes and boxes of essentials, we took the time to sort through them to organize the boxes by gender and size. This is where the fun begins! After the items were organized, boxed up, and ready to go, a group of nine Gale employees had the pleasure of taking the items to Freedom House. Not only did we get the history of this amazing organization, but we also got a small tour of the beautiful, historic building. The staff and residents were very hospitable and thankful we brought them 10 large boxes of clean, gently-used necessities. We even met one of the former residents who lived at Freedom House for two years before landing a job and permanent residency—he referred to the CEO as his mother.
Gale offers endless opportunities to volunteer & donate year after year—experiencing these opportunities first-hand has been extremely rewarding—and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Find out how you can support Freedom House Detroit >>