In January, seven female Open Doors volunteers were partnered up with seven refugee women and given each other’s contact information. The goal was to try to walk once a week (at a safe distance, masked up, wearing warm enough clothes, not meeting if someone was not feeling well) through March.
While there have been a few roadblocks due to illness and schedules and weather, there have been many great walks so far. These new friends have talked about everything. From family and geography near and far, to life goals and continuing education, and even a recommendation for a salon! It seems that everyone is genuinely enjoying their time together.
Sincere care and concern for each other has emerged, and volunteers have offered help, such as offering to run errands and pick up groceries for a partner who was sick.
The refugee women are also saying positive things: “A great experience and the lady is very nice. I walked with her 3 times, and after that, it was too cold to walk but we will resume walking soon.” And another said, “It’s a beautiful experience. We went out five times so far and had lunch together and we went sledding once!”
A big thank you to the walkers who have started the year together on the right foot despite very cold weather, potential language barriers, and the pandemic. It is heartwarming and inspiring.