GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) —

Joint Development Associates international, a nonprofit organization from right here in Grand Junction is spearheading an effort to help refugee families seek a better life here in Mesa County. Theresa Bloom a representative of the effort had good things to say about Grand Junction, “you know mesa county is really the most loving community in the state and caring. and I expect to see our community is going to welcome them with welcome arms.”

 Their effort is off to a great start as more than 300 volunteers joined their service, locals have donated food and supplies, and more than a dozen local churches have offered to sponsor families through a very rough time.

“Right now, Afghanistan is not safe there is a lot of danger there –there is a lot of poverty particularly among those people who helped US aid organizations or US military.” Explained Bloom. Families relocating go through a long process of vetting including waiting in a refugee camp in the United Arab Emirates for years before coming to the states and then staying at a military base in Virginia before finally arriving here to their new homes. Bloom continued, “A woman told me when she flew in a few weeks ago, she stood out there and she stood outside the airport, and she took a big deep breath, and I asked her if she was okay, and she said this is what freedom feels like.

Their excitement isn’t just the destination, it’s the journey refugee families most look forward to. Theresa bloom says the valley’s new residents have big goals for their lives here in the USA.  “They don’t want to take; they want to give back to the community they want to pass the time until they can pursue American citizenship.”

Theresa had one last piece of advice for our community as we help these families adjust to their new lives, “Be kind be patient with the language barriers.”

If you want to help rescue more families or help those already here settle in fundraising is underway at www.jdainternational.org