SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — With help from the Mary J. Treglia Community House, three Afghan refugee families have already made their way from U.S. military bases, where thousands remain staged, Wednesday to the streets of Sioux City, thanks in large part to a holiday gift from Missouri River Historical Development.
Each year, MRHD’s board members are tasked with finding non-profits to support and one found out what Mary J. Treglia’s agency is trying to accomplish.
“They’re evidently going to be able to sponsor 50 families and so he brought that to the attention of the committee and immediately, the committee reacted to that like ‘Oh yeah, that’s a need we want to try to address to,'” said MRHD executive director Katie Colling.
Executive director at the Community House, Becky Carlson, spoke on what the $40,000 donation will do for these new families.
“We had immediate need right way, getting housing, food, all of that happening. Now this will allow us to help as they start looking at Siouxland community as their home,” said Carlson.
Carlson said so far, so good for the several refugees who have arrived, but adapting to Siouxland’s winter climate may take some time.
Mary J. Treglia’s mission is to “welcome, educate, empower, and advocate for all new Siouxlanders.” Carlson said it is rewarding to be able to fulfill the values the community house was founded on a hundred years ago.
“It is amazing to meet them at the airport and to be able to say ‘Hey, you’re safe and you have a good, warm home.’ It is very gratifying,” said Carlson.
Carlson said they have already sponsored an additional five families who are expected to fly into Sioux Gateway Airport later this week.