Earlier this year I was introduced to a local organization called Gathering Humanity from my dear friend Cindy Trussel. Cindy is the founder of Lighthouse Charities which helps settle incoming refugee families into the Las Vegas area. It is through a series of portraits I created for her, that I was referred to Gathering Humanity here in the Phoenix valley. I had a lovely meeting with GH founders Christine, Sarah and Nicole where they shared their story of how it all started and their vision and purpose for helping others.
Christine, Sarah & Nicole
It is the mission of Gathering Humanity to work hand-in-hand with all 4 federal refugee resettlement agencies in Phoenix, to support refugees being resettled in the Phoenix area. Their all volunteer teams, (no one takes a salary or makes any money), collect household goods for incoming refugee families and set up their apartments, provide groceries, and meals.
It was on this particular day that I was fortunate enough to tag along and document a full apartment setup for an incoming family of 6. In partnership with the local chapter of the International Rescue Commission, the GH volunteers, gathered items from the list tailored to each family, packed up the truck, drove to the apartment location, unloaded and setup an apartment ready for a refugee family to move in the next day.
The moving truck parked outside of the Gathering Humanity warehouse
There are so many moving parts to running Gathering Humanity, and I can not be more impressed with how Nicole, Sarah and Christine keep it all put together. Through organization, coordinating with the local resettlement agencies, gathering volunteers, stocking the warehouse with donations, as well as sharing the stories of what theses families have endured, warms my heart. I said to the ladies that I was there to help them in any way that I can and hopefully through the power if images, I can document the good work they are doing.
Loading the truck
Each apartment setup has its own list catering to each refugee family.
The front door to the apartment, soon to be the new home of a refugee family
Big congratulations to the entire Gathering Humanity team and all the volunteers who chose to take hours from their person time and dedicate it to helping those in need.