Refugee Family Project Update

Hello, Plymouth!

After months of preparation, countless hours spent by volunteers, and generous donations from the congregation, the Plymouth Welcomes a Refugee Family team is excited to introduce to you the Syrian refugee family that we are co-sponsoring.

From left to right: Ali (age 11), Nada (9), Rania (7), Sanaa, Marwan, and Yousef (5).

Originally from Syria, the family speaks Arabic, and their religion is Sunni Muslim. Marwan completed intermediary school and worked as a shop owner. Sanaa completed primary school. Prior to their arrival in the United States, the family had been located in Amman, Jordan.

The family arrived in Des Moines on September 15 and spent their first week in an extended-stay hotel, as we waited for an apartment to become available.

A happy welcome at the Des Moines airport!

September 23 was the long-awaited move-in day! Plymouth volunteers and staff from the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants (USCRI) spent the day moving donated furniture, household goods, and food into the family’s new 3-bedroom apartment. Professional movers handled the heavy lifting, which was no easy feat with three flights of stairs and no elevator!

Thanks to the many donations of furniture and household items from Plymouth members, we were able to create a warm and welcoming space for this wonderful family. A special touch included five beautiful, handmade quilts created by the Plymouth Quilters, which added a lovely splash of color to the family’s new beds.

Seeing the family arrive and explore their new apartment was a joyful and much-anticipated moment for the project team, and we’re pleased to tell you that the family loves their new home!

The family’s apartment is located in West Des Moines, and the children will attend school in the Waukee school district. A team of Plymouth volunteers will work directly with the family in the coming weeks and months to assist them as they settle into life in their new home. Plymouth volunteers will be teaching the family how to use public transportation, helping enroll the children in school, coaching the family on finances, and providing friendship and fun activities to acquaint the family with the Des Moines area. Plymouth will also be providing food for the first month, as well as rent assistance.

Our co-sponsorship partner USCRI provides services such as English language lessons, cultural and community awareness classes, healthcare coordination, job preparation and placement, and legal services.

We will continue sharing updates in the coming months to let you know how the family is doing, so stay tuned! In the meantime, please keep the family in your prayers as they continue adjusting to life in America.

Thank you for all of the support, donations, and prayers that have enabled us to welcome this beloved family to Des Moines. This is radical love in practice. Thank you, Plymouth!

For questions about the Plymouth Welcomes a Refugee Family project, you may contact our project chairperson Alicia Claypool,