Social Impact: Supporting Afghan Refugees Resettling in Minnesota
The Minneapolis-St. Paul campus of Thomson Reuters is honored to partner with the nonprofit organization Alight, which is leading response efforts in Minnesota to prepare move-in-ready homes for Afghan refugee families.
Chris Kindler, Alight campaign director, said more than 1,300 Afghan refugees have arrived in Minnesota since August, which nearly quadrupled the number of Afghans living in the state. Alight is furnishing and stocking housing for up to 250 evacuee families, and working with longtime Afghan residents in Minnesota to learn about arriving refugees’ needs.
About 40 Thomson Reuters employees recently volunteered with Alight to set up apartments for Afghan refugee families. Volunteers helped assemble furniture, clean, and set up rooms.
“I jumped at the chance to be able to do something right in our own community to help a refugee family from Afghanistan,” said Jennifer Tepfer, business operations specialist, Thomson Reuters, who volunteered. “We’re all interconnected, so I think it is important to use the resources we’ve been given to help lift up our community.”
Thomson Reuters employees received paid time-off for their service through the company’s community giving and employee volunteer program, which provides employees with two paid volunteer days each year. The company’s Community Relations Team – Minneapolis organized the partnership with Alight.
Tepfer shared her favorite aspect of volunteering with Alight.
“Meeting fellow Thomson Reuters employees that I wouldn’t typically come across in my day-to-day and being able to see the results of our hard work,” she said. “Hopefully arriving to a newly furnished apartment will make the family’s adjustment to Minnesota a little easier.”
“We couldn’t provide a warm welcome to Afghan families if not for the help of amazing Minnesotans, especially the amazing volunteers from Thomson Reuters who’ve been cleaning, putting together furniture, and setting up homes for families,” Kindler said. “We’re so grateful for all the energy and love the Thomson Reuters teams brought to the work. It will surely shine through when families walk through their door for the first time.”