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Sponsor circles in Denver help resettle Afghanistan evacuees

The Kaballah Experience will sponsor families for six months as they become accustomed to a new life.

DENVER — Melanie Gruenwald hums in anticipation as a moving truck pulls up on South Marion Street. 

"I have like Ed Sheeran in my head," she laughs. 

The excitement came quickly when two weeks ago, her organization, the Kaballah Experience, was asked to sponsor an Afghan family resettling in Denver. 

Through the organization, The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, or HIAS, organizations are the country are forming sponsor circles to help the thousands of Afghanistan evacuees find new homes. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are still 7,000 Afghanistan evacuees at US military bases waiting to find a home. 

"We're so excited because the Afghan family who are refugees, they're coming tomorrow," said Gruenwald. "They're landing in Denver and we're setting up their house. So all of these items have been donated by local families." 

The owner of the home is renting it far cheaper than market value. 

"Yeah it's pretty good neighborhood," said Kim Nyhus. "But sometimes you just got to do what's right." 

The value these volunteers see in this new family is worth so much more. 

"I just think our country was built by refugees and immigrants, and it's what is going to keep making our country stronger, to have new people coming who want to be part of something great," said Sarah Grope, a volunteer with this sponsor circle. 

Like so many, the Afghani family arriving on Saturday was in danger because the dad served as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. 

"You know this family has nothing. Their home was burned down by the Taliban, and just the fact that they're starting literally from zero, they have a suitcase full of clothing – is really something to think about," said another volunteer, Lizzy Neufeld. 

The family is safe from the Taliban now, but building a new life in a strange place will be hard. 

Gruenwald and her team hope to make it easier by sponsoring the family of three, soon to be four, for six months while they find jobs and sort out their new life. 

"This family is well set up and hopefully they'll move here and feel hugged," she said.

The Kaballah Experience is accepting donations for this family. Whatever isn't needed will go to the next family they plan to sponsor. 

"We're all humans we all come from the same place," said Gruenwald. "Definitely feeling that awareness of shared humanity." 

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