Project Welcome Students Welcome Refugees with Open Arms 

By J1 reporters Ally Ravnsborg & Reese Mueller 

Twice a year, Marian and Creighton Prep students volunteer to help refugees from various countries. Social studies teacher Mrs. Katy Salzman, and a core team of Erin Line, Lauren Montague and Eliza Turco help to spearhead the movement at Marian. They work with the Campus Ministry Director at Creighton Prep, Dave Lawler and Prep students. 

“We have got to keep our doors open, it is not a solution to be a refugee,” said Mrs. Katy Salzman. There are 82 million refugees and 42 million internally displaced people, meaning that they still reside in their home country but they no longer live in their home city or state. By helping people in the Omaha community, Marian and Creighton Prep are helping to reduce this number. 

Every spring and fall, students will travel to an apartment in Omaha to help the refugees move in. This spring, the move in date was April 9, and a family from Afghanistan was moved into an apartment located in Omaha. 

Students bring in a variety of supplies from toothbrushes to wall decorations. Teachers from both schools also help with donations to furnish the apartment. When the move in day arrives, students help transfer all the supplies to the apartment. Then, they help clean and organize the apartment so it is ready for the family to settle into. 

The refugee family is picked by the US government and local leaders have no say in which family they help. The family that was moved in last Saturday was urgently removed from their home in Afghanistan and temporarily relocated to a long stay hotel where they were screened to enter America. 

This experience allows students to connect with the local community and serve those in need. By helping these refugees with a warm heart, Omaha students are able to make a great impact on the families’ first days in America. “We want to mentor these families,” said Salzman. After working so hard to make Omaha their new home, local volunteers want to make sure they adjust to life easily. 

Joining this club is very rewarding and fun to participate in. The core team and Mrs. Salzman all encourage everyone to consider joining next year. They can be contacted at:

Ellie Stricklett ’23, Mackenzie Reidy ’25, along with other Project Welcome participants clean and then fill the apartment kitchen for a family from Afghanistan on April 9. By: Theresa Mueller

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