IowaWINs (Iowa Welcomes Immigrant Neighbors) is sponsoring a Holiday Bazaar on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
The Holiday Bazaar features jewelry and small gift items made by refugees and their Greek hosts and Mayan families in Guatemala. Proceeds go to help refugees living in refugee camps in Greece and Mayan families in Guatemala who face widespread discrimination and disenfranchisement. Both recipients are connected to local people.
IowaWINs partners with The Lesvos Refugee Project, founded by a Stacey Hurlin of Fairfield. The Lesvos Project addresses refugees? needs at landing sites, in camps and as they adjust and establish themselves throughout Greece. Some of the gifts to support refugees in Greece are made from life jackets left by refugees after arriving by boat.
Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the world outside of active war zones. Mt. Pleasant teacher Diane Brooks has traveled to Guatemala and worked with an organization called Mayan Families that works to empower impoverished indigenous Guatemalans through sustainable community development programs and emergency aid.
IowaWINs was founded in 2015 in response to the refugee crisis. The Commission has since broadened the focus to include immigrants as well as refugees. A portion of our mission is to provide educational and cultural outlets to the community to learn more about these people and their needs.