Remembering The Refugees

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With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, many people are shopping for family and friends. Some churches and civic groups are sending care packages to the military. But at Grace Avenue Methodist Church in Frisco, Texas, members are focusing on their neighbors, the ones who live a world away. Reed Galin reports.

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Sixteen-year-old Drew Graham joined others at his United Methodist Church, creating care packages for kids he’ll never meet, living a life he’ll never know.

Drew Graham / Member, Grace Avenue United Methodist Church:  “To see people like that who don’t have a lot, and then to ask for something so little.”

They are the forgotten faces of war and political conflict.  Having fled with their parents from homelands like Afghanistan, they live in a refugee camp in the Czech Republic. Their wish list is simple – something warm to wear.

Drew Graham:  “Here you see little kids and they want Nintendo 64 and PlayStation or whatever, and there they are happy to get clothes.”

Paulette Rollins / United Methodist Donor:  “I saw the pictures and saw the innocent faces and I have grandchildren of my own.”

Two hundred refugees are living in this camp … twenty are under the age of two.  The street is their only playground.

Jeff Schnebly / United Methodist Donor:  “We’re so blessed in this country to have so many different things.”

Thousands of miles away, Drew and his friends carefully fold blankets and tiny sleepers to warm hearts as well as bodies.

The Rev. Billy Echols-Richter / Grace Avenue United Methodist Church:  “It is really important for us to think that we not only make a home for people right here in our own midst, but even people around the world that we can reach out to, particularly people who are in this kind of need.”

Charles Hampshire / United Methodist Donor:  “We help do God’s work and we bring a little comfort to the babies.”

…a  little more comfort and a lot of warmth for those who face a long winter.


In the spring, the church plans to send summer clothing and other supplies for the children.  It usually takes at least two years to receive political asylum, and many of the refugees decide to stay in their new country, The Czech Republic.  But others move on to Germany, Austria and France where they hope to find a better economy and freedom from war in their homeland.