Migros Mentor Stories in December 2022

Migros Mentor Stories in December 2022

Volunesia means “a moment when you forget that you’re volunteering to change lives because it is changing yours.”

Migros mentors all share these moments often of how their lives are being changed as a mentor to refugee. Here are just a few stories from December 2022 that Migros mentors shared. Our goal is to have 100+ mentors in 2023. Will you be our next mentor?

Contact us if you are interested in mentoring.

  • “I spent an hour on Friday afternoons helping a woman from Afghanistan practice English. Recently, she knew a few days prior had been my birthday. When I arrived at her house, she cooked a special meal from home (Afghanistan) to celebrate my birthday with me. It was very sweet! It showed me just how valuable our relationship is to her and her family. ” (from Jessica )
  • A mentor meets with a group of teen girls weekly to study the book of Acts and offer support to each other
  • “I really loved the Academy Christmas party. They deserved all the special treats they got that evening. ” (from Caroline )
  • “The end-of-the-year Academy party was so much fun. Especially watching the kids get their certificates!” (from Steve)
  • “When I bring one family food from a food pantry, all the kids come running out to bring the food in, and to find something yummy to eat. “(from Paula)
  • A 6th-grade boy eagerly shared his semester grades with his tutors at Migros Academy!
  • Mentors took 6 children to their first-ever Mcdonald’s dinner.
  • A mentor to several Afghan women recently walked alongside a woman as her husband was dying of cancer by visiting the hospital and helping with medical affairs. When she was left widowed with 3 children, the mentor attended the funeral dinner and helped with expenses.
  • A team of people works with a 20-year old young man in a health crisis. Mentors visit him, take food, set up his internet, go to doctor appointments with him, and care for his younger brother.
  • A mentor helps a family who lost SNAP benefits to reapply.
  • A mentor drives a 5th grader to the Health Department for his school vaccinations.
Read more: Migros Mentor Stories in December 2022

Please contact us if you want to mentor..

10 Reasons to Make a Donation on #givingtuesday

10 Reasons to Make a Donation on #givingtuesday

We can all look back on our lives and remember people who made positive impacts on us. At Migros Aid, we believe our work is important and allows us to enlist others to support and encourage those we serve. Thriving in life requires a community to come around and offer love, encouragement, and friendship.

Your donation on this #givingtuesday will allow us to continue to serve these ten people – and others!  

  1. Laurent, from Cameroon, is five and lives with his mom and brother. His brother has been in and out of the hospital a lot this year and numerous people from the Migros community help the family. Laurent proudly tells everyone he knows about being on High Honor Roll and involved in weekly tutoring and CARE club. 
  1. Hannah, from Syria, has been learning English with a Migros mentor, and she just passed her U.S. citizenship test with the help of a Migros mentor. 
  1. Obed has started coming to Migros Academy after hearing his siblings, Prince and Davis, talk about how much they like their tutors. He wants to work on bringing up his grades.
  1. Mahat, from Somalia, was quite a handful and it was hard to get him focused when first coming to Migros Academy. He has matured in many ways and loves playing strategy games, like Battleship, with tutors. He’s even taken a couple books home with him.
  1. Daima asked a mentor, “Have you ever been to McDonalds? Is it nice? We heard it was nice. I always wanted to go there.”  Daima, along with her 6 siblings, come for help with homework at our weekly Academy and attend CARE Club. They are soon to be treated to a meal at McDonald’s over Christmas holidays.  
  1. Mohammad will soon be sworn in as an American citizen. He has been helped by Migros mentors for the 5 years he has been in Indianapolis, after fleeing war in Syria.     
  1. Chance,a teenage girl, meets regularly with a Migros mentor for Bible study. Her mentor also assisted her in starting a new job.
  1. Sandrine is a teen girl from Africa and recently enjoyed the Winterlights Display with her mentor at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
  1. Solei is a refugee mother of four and has been in America since June. She currently works weekly with one of our cleaning crews to earn money for her family.
  1.  Emma Lar finally can come to get help with her homework at Migros Academy.  She is in Kindergarten and now joins her brothers: Eh My and Chrys Ta Pah.   

Click here to make a donation

A Few Stories from Migros Mentors Making an Impact

A Few Stories from Migros Mentors Making an Impact

Did you know we have 70+ Migros mentors? We like to imagine the breadth of our work through these amazing folks – all volunteers! These mentors meet with families and others tutor students on a weekly basis through the Migros Academy.    

We love hearing the stories of how many are engaging creatively and helping our refugee friends thrive. We often say that we want to be “friendship brokers”. We connect volunteers with refugees to become friends. We all need a support system to thrive. The challenge for most refugees is that that support system can be limited due to language and culture. Refugees support system of other family and friendships are miles away in their home nations and it can be lonely. Will you consider being a mentor? We promise it might change you more than you can imagine.

A few stories from Migros Mentors…

“We were reading a book about the Amazon Rain Forest & decided to look up videos of animals that live there. It was so much fun!”
Steve

“One of the children I tutor is (age appropriately) inpatient but we have been practicing patience when playing board games. Each week the improvement is noticeable and I know this skill will serve her well when she starts school.”
Martina

“Sandrine helped volunteer with me and we celebrated her birthday by making candles.  I took her to the Celebrate Science event to visit the booths and learn more about stem and opportunities for summer programs and internships. When I took her home her aunt (Mukeshimana) and grandmother taught me how to make fufu.”
Amanda

“I have seen some students become more interactive and open to communication, including listening better.”  
Noel

“One of the girls in our CARE group got her driver’s license and learner’s permit. She kept studying over the summer and finally passed on the second time taking the written test. “
Tina

“Seeing Queen recognize me and our friendship each week – appreciate that growth!’
Keri

“I think mostly just watching how the kids grow as you spend time with them… not just physically but also mentally and emotionally “
Maggie

“Very rewarding seeing people eager to become citizens”
Paula

“One student passes the Civics portion – a great feat given the memorization she had to do and the other student passed all portions. I have explained to my students that English is so important to become part of the community and learn more about people and cultures. “
Darby

Read more: A Few Stories from Migros Mentors Making an Impact

Please contact us to get involved and mentor today!

Our 4th annual Migros Aid Community Garden: Where Relationships Grow, Disciplines Develop, and Learning Happens

Our 4th annual Migros Aid Community Garden:  Where Relationships Grow, Disciplines Develop, and Learning Happens

            If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. – Robert Brault

The 4th annual Migros Aid Community Garden provided more than food this season; it also provided a setting for relationships to grow, discipline to develop, and learning to happen.  

Our garden produced 989 pounds of tomatoes, cabbages, okra, peppers, cucumbers, and more spread among 36 raised beds. Throughout the summer and fall, community members and volunteers harvested food weekly and distributed it to families. 

Beyond the actual vegetables it yielded, the garden did more than we could imagine. Middle school boys (who can be notoriously difficult to wrangle in the best of circumstances) spent an entire evening digging up potatoes and competing for the biggest one – each convinced that they might discover one that could break a world’s record for size.  A mentor and some teenage girls had conversations about faith and the Bible over beds of vegetables. An African woman taught Americans which leaves and stems could be cooked into delicious, nutritious dishes. Young girls filled bag after bag to take home to present proudly to their mothers. Teen boys earned pocket money by weeding and caring for the garden. Conversations about culture and food were shared between volunteers and members of the refugee community as they tried to save every cherry tomato before the first frost came. 

In the spring, a team sowed seeds that became sprouts, then tall plants, then vegetables. More was sown, however, than physical seeds. The garden also allowed opportunities for seeds of faith, trust, and friendship to be sown. We look forward to seeing the harvest that God produces from those seeds. 

All produce was given away for free to families in the refugee community.

And now the garden rests until we begin again next year!

Read more: Our 4th annual Migros Aid Community Garden: Where Relationships Grow, Disciplines Develop, and Learning Happens

Please contact us if you want to be involved in the garden in 2023!

Zayd Vestal Reflects on His Experience as a Summer Intern

Zayd Vestal Reflects on His Experience as a Summer Intern

Zayd Vestal has completed his freshman year at North Park University in Chicago, IL. and still deciding his major. He currently is working as a summer intern this summer with Migros Aid and helping serve in numerous ways within the refugee community.

Zayd reflects on his summer internship,

“I have discovered that I have felt most at peace with the families, children, and individuals of my age who are connected with Migros Aid and from around the world. What I mean by “most at peace” is that when I spend time with these individuals, whatever the occasion is, I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. Of course, not everything is peaceful, but I can genuinely say that in my entire life, I have never felt as safe to be myself around the people in Migros Aid, even though there is a drastic cultural boundary between them and me. As I have gotten to know these individuals, almost every encounter with them is full of joy and warmth that seems rooted in their DNA. These individuals are mainly refugees from different parts of the world. They come to Indianapolis mostly on the lower-income spectrum of society, English not their primary language and most are not familiar with the customs and culture of America as a whole. Immigrants are the gentiles of modern-day America. Romans 3:29 says, “After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course, HE is! Our God is the God of all nations and cares for our neighbors and ‘the stranger.’ I have very much cherished my cross-cultural experiences with Migros because I have gained different perspectives of the world, and I believe this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus: to see and hear from people of all different backgrounds. We are all created in the image of God and have something to show of the Kingdom of God.”

Read more: Zayd Vestal Reflects on His Experience as a Summer Intern

Thanks to Zayd for his heart and desire to serve the refugee community this summer.

The Migros Academy Launches in June to Assist Refugee Students through One-On-One Tutoring

The Migros Academy Launches in June to Assist Refugee Students through One-On-One Tutoring


The Migros Academy launched on June 7 and is designed to help assist students to get ready for the upcoming school year that starts on August 1. Eleven volunteer tutors came to tutor students through the summer. All of the students that Migros Aid works within the community are behind in their education, some very significantly. Through the pandemic, most fell even more behind.

The Migros Academy is a continuation of our “Homework Club” that we have been doing for the past four years in the apartments. It is an effort to continue our efforts to empower emerging generations within the refugee community. Tutors will be matched with a student weekly to practice reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to accept kids from grades 1-8 and help them enter High School strong.

Tutors will meet weekly for about 9 weeks and then meet about 10 times during the fall and 10 times during the spring.

Please contact us if you want to serve in this capacity! We have more students who want a tutor than available tutors.

Read more: The Migros Academy Launches in June to Assist Refugee Students through One-On-One Tutoring

All tutors must fill out an application and have a background check and go through Migros 101. Make a difference in the life of a child today!

Angie Wiggins, Director of the Migros Academy, says, “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! •Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.

Empowering Refugee Young People through Landscaping

Empowering Refugee Young People through Landscaping

Glocal Services LLC is our business partner and exists to “Provide professional general labor services throughout Indianapolis and offer mentorship to young people in the refugee, immigrant community”.

This spring crews have been busy providing mulching services throughout the city. We are accepting more job through June. Contact us for pricing and more info The work provides opportunity for students to have part-time work and earn pocket money. Further, the experience allows them to be educated on the importance of part-time work and gaining work experience. Several who have worked with us the past three years have used their experience on creating a resume for the first time, something we assist refugees in doing. One young woman obtained a wonderful job right after High School at Riley Children’s hospital. This is her resume:

Read more: Empowering Refugee Young People through Landscaping

Please contact us for a mulching job or other needs you might have.

Tina Campbell Shares her Story of Being a Migros Mentor

Tina Campbell Shares her Story of Being a Migros Mentor

Tina shares, “My husband and I have enjoyed being mentors to a brother and sister from Somalia.  They and their mother have been in the U.S. since 2016.  Another Migros mentor helped them obtain their green cards and get settled into the city.  We came along a few years later in their journey and have enjoyed sharing our “middle class American” lives with them.  Ping pong, Cracker Barrel, and seasonal decor are just a few bits of Americana that have been shared.  Pictured above is me sharing my love of ice-cream cake as we celebrated the end of Farhiyo’s Ivy Tech class.  The other picture is of Farhiyo sharing her talent of henna painting with me.  We shared many laughs over the strange color the ink turned on my white skin!  Being a mentor to a young adult has been rewarding and full of more laughs than I anticipated!  “

There are other families in need and we are seeking more Migros Mentors like John and Tina.

Please contact us if you want to serve as a Migros Mentor.

Read more: Tina Campbell Shares her Story of Being a Migros Mentor

We require you go through a Migros 101 class and run a background check and you can be paired with a family for friendship, encouragement, and support.

Hannah Bryant Shares Her Story of Being a Migros Mentor to a Refugee Family

Hannah Bryant Shares Her Story of Being a Migros Mentor to a Refugee Family

Bryant shares, “I’ve been volunteering with Migros Aid for a little over a year. I’ve had the privilege of being a mentor- which means being a friend to a refugee family. I got to help my African friends get settled into a new place in Indianapolis, get registered for school & navigate some of the language barriers experienced in every day life. We spent a lot of time last summer just hanging out and sharing meals together. I even learned how to make fufu! It has been the hugest blessing. My family has a greater understanding of what it means to be a refugee in the United States. We’ve had the privilege of experiencing other cultures & truly helping the least of these. I had no idea some of the challenges they face & I’m so grateful my family and I have been able to help.”

Many refugee families move to Indianapolis after living in other parts of the United States for a short period of time. They usually move to Indianapolis because of the good job market or they know someone who lives here, as the family did in this mentoring relationship. Families like this loose all their support from other groups serving them in the initial city they were settled in. Through the work of Migros Aid, this family was able to get help and support that was greatly needed.

There are other families in need and we are seeking more Migros Mentors like Hannah.

Continue reading “Hannah Bryant Shares Her Story of Being a Migros Mentor to a Refugee Family”

Migros Academy: Empowering the Next Generation Through One-On-One Tutoring

Migros Academy:   Empowering the Next Generation Through One-On-One Tutoring

Our efforts to continue to empower the next generation of refugee students will now be called  Migros Academy.   It will continue our five-year track record of our weekly Homework Club and mentoring of students, since our inception in 2017.    Our goal is 25 students this next school year (2022-2023) We need your help to tutor these kids!    

Click here to contact us and get more info and work to help a student with their homework and excel!     You can make a real impact!  

Angie Wiggins joins the Migros Aid team part-time to lead, guide, and facilitate the Migros Aid Academy.  Wiggins has over  26 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. Locally, she has taught with several homeschool co-ops and at North Central High School. 

Read more: Migros Academy: Empowering the Next Generation Through One-On-One Tutoring

Wiggins says,   “I am honored and excited to join the Migros Aid team and help grow the educational component of the ministry.  Since January 2018, my daughters and I have volunteered at Migros Aid’s Homework Club. I am thankful for what we’ve learned and experienced through Homework Club. I would love to assist students who have great potential but who may be falling through the cracks in their crowded classrooms.   God has given me many opportunities to teach English Language Learners, and I always welcome that.  My family and I live on the west side of Indianapolis.  My husband, Andy, and I have 3 daughters (Sarah Grace 17, Anna 16, and Caroline 15). We worship and serve at One Fellowship Church.  In the free time I have after parenting 3 active teenagers,  I love wandering downtown, eating at international restaurants, and hanging out in my hammock with a book.”

Migros Academy tutors will build personal relationships with students from the refugee community to foster academic confidence and a lifelong passion for learning.

How Will the Migros Academy Work?

  • Once a week tutoring sessions designed to address math and reading skills, as well as relationship building.
  • The tutoring sessions will have a specific schedule and structure to maximize the time that the student and tutor have together. 
  • We will select 25 students (grades K-8) who demonstrate an interest in academic pursuits and positive attitudes. Each student will be paired with a tutor who will make a 9-week commitment to weekly tutoring sessions over the summer.
  • All tutors will apply, complete background checks and volunteer waivers, and attend Migros 101.
  • Tutoring sessions will begin at student homes to build trust between tutors, parents, and students. If all parties are comfortable, the sessions can later take place at other locations

Wiggins reflects further,  “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. • There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! • Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. • America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.