Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Harris Glickman
Sometimes we do not realize how much we may take for granted in our day-to-day lives. Carol Harris Glickman, a volunteer with our Refugee Resettlement program, has been able to see and experience that first hand with the refugee family she and her daughters assist. The Refugee Resettlement program, part of our International Services - Tools for New Americans division, helps families new to the United States transition to a new life so far from home as smoothly as possible.
Carol and her two daughters, ages 7 and 8, have been working with an Eritrean family of six. The family, a single mother and five children, elementary to high school age, recently relocated to the community of Clarkston, where several refugee families have started new lives. “We help them with a lot of basic things, like showing them what to do with canned food – things that may seem obvious to us,” says Carol. Coming from refugee camps, many of these families have not experienced canned or frozen food products, she explained. “They are by no means unsophisticated, but things like that have just not been part of their lives before.”
Carol says this has been a great experience for her young daughters. She typically brings one or both along to visit with the family. “They are very excited about it, and they find it sort of fascinating. Kids want to do stuff to help people,” Carol says. One of her daughters even solicited donations at school, completely on her own! “They have also given away a lot of their own stuff, and gotten things from their classmates,” she says. The Glickmans have helped to get their refugee family toys and clothes, taken them on trips to the grocery store and even have plans to take them to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens soon.
Carol has had plenty of experience with individuals from other cultures. She works with students of all nationalities as an ESL (English as a Second Language) Resource Instructor at Chattahoochee Technical College. She teaches small, remedial-type English classes to help students get a better grasp on things like reading and basic grammar. Of the Refugee Resettlement program, she says, “This is the first time I’ve done something like this – and they are just so grateful. You really learn as much as you teach them.” She says this opportunity has gotten her daughters excited to teach others about their new friends from Eritrea.
“Interacting with people who have just arrived here is very rewarding,” says Carol. “You learn about what you have and the things you take for granted.”