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Embracing Diversity 

Refugee Connections' annual fall fundraiser

click to enlarge Harvesting donated produce and supplying it to the needy is one way Refugee Connections gives back.
  • Harvesting donated produce and supplying it to the needy is one way Refugee Connections gives back.

Though our demographics don't tend to show it, Spokane is a safe escape for dozens of refugees from countries around the world facing turmoil most Americans will never experience. Refugee Connections Spokane is a major resource for people who've fled Nepal, Iraq, Somalia, Burundi, Afghanistan, the Congo and other nations, helping connect them to community resources and services.

Beyond serving as a liaison to refugees trying to navigate an unfamiliar place and culture, Refugee Connections also runs programs that allow refugees to give back to the community that has welcomed them. In the summer, the nonprofit's harvest program invites local refugees to harvest donated produce, which is then distributed to those in need through the East Central Community Center, says outreach coordinator Anna Bondarenko.

Refugee Connections' annual fall fundraiser, called Sharing Our World, helps keep programs like the harvest project going, Bondarenko says. Hosted at the Community Building, the event includes live and silent auctions, appetizers and a gallery of professional portraits of refugees served by the nonprofit. Some clients attending the fundraiser will also share their experiences and talk about what life was like in their home countries.

Sharing Our World • Sat, Oct. 24, 5-9 pm • $25 • Community Building • 25 W. Main •

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