Lansing, MI - There is a growing refugee population in the Lansing area and this week, Mid-Michigan residents are rolling out the welcome mat.
World Refugee Awareness week kicked off Sunday. The week ends with a celebration on Friday, June 20, the internationally recognized World Refugee Day as set by the United Nations.
There are a host of activities and events this week to welcome those refugees who now call Mid-Michigan home.
"Movie Day" kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Capital Area District Library downtown. The event runs from 2 to 4 p.m.
Tomorrow, refugee youth and their families will be speaking out about their experiences at First Presbyterian Church. They will also offer samples of food from their culture. This event runs from 6 to 8 at the church located on West Ottawa Street.
For a full list of activities, visit STVCC.org.
Every four seconds, someone in the world is forced to flee their home under threat of persecution, conflict and violence, according to government officials.
Each year, the U.S. accepts about 70,000 refugees who were forced to flee due to religious or political persecution. There arrive here without food, money, jobs or transportation, which is the reason for World Refugee Awareness Week.
The week's celebration kicked off with a family 5-k run at Hawk Island Park. More than 100 people came to show their support.
Because refugees face so many challenges, there are a lot of different ways from volunteering to donation that people can help.
If you are looking to volunteer or donate money or supplies, contact the St. Vincent Catholic Charities.