BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) — A Tuesday morning spent shopping at Walmart for 67 Bowling Green refugees, thanks to the International Center and Islamic Center.
Bowling Green refugee children ready for winter
Huda Melky, Board Member of the Bowling Green International Center and liaison for the Islamic Center, says no matter what your background is, it’s all about the kids.
“Black, white, Muslim or Christian, it doesn’t matter. We are here for the children.”
“The refugees, they’re so excited, they’re overwhelmed. Some of those kids have no shoes, have no coats, they never really experienced cold weather. And, we do know how cold it can get in December, January, but now they are ready to experience that,” Huda Melky added.
As refugees go from aisle to aisle picking out clothes for the winter season, International Center Executive Director Albert Mbanfu says it’s like going from nothing to everything.
“Many of the refugees are coming from the tropics, places where it’s excessively hot. And, with the cold air coming in right now, we started being so worried and we got in touch with the Islamic Center and they said whatever the number is, we’re going to provide them warm clothing and many more,” Albert Mbanfu added.
Bowling Green Islamic Center Imam Sedin Agic says it’s all about making sure they know they’re welcomed.
“It’s one of the main points, to make them smile. They’re facing a lot of challenges leaving their country coming here. We’re just trying to show them we’re good people here in good society, Bowling Green in general,” Sedin Agic stated.
And volunteers like Elder Chandler Rowland know his help is just as beneficial for him as the refugees.
“You know, it’s humbling. It makes me count my many blessings but it’s great to help them.”
Once the refugees checked everything off their list and proceeded to check out, Albert Mbanfu’s graciousness toward Bowling Green’s generosity continues to soar.
“To show generosity, to show kindness, to show that love which is the hallmark of America is all about, and that we will always strive and succeed as one,” Albert Mbanfu mentioned.
The International Center and the Islamic Center will take another large group of refugees to Walmart Wednesday afternoon to help them prepare for the cold as well.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating time, items or money towards the refugees, click on the attached link to take you to the Bowling Green International Center’s website.