If your social media timeline looks anything like mine, a quick scroll leaves your eyes and mind inundated with images of some heartbreaking current events. Among the tirades of politics and economics, our society finds itself grappling with one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time in Syria.
Fortunately, amidst the heartbreak felt for refugees fleeing their homes we find the good side of humanity. In and around Atlanta, local communities are welcoming refugees with open arms, actively reaching out with assistance in an effort to help them not only thrive in their new home, but also bring a little bit of their old home back to life. See below for some of Atlanta’s growing refugee-owned business so next time you find yourself in need of cleaning, cookies, or coffee remember this: refugees have no choice, but you do. Choose people.
(1) Dwell Service
Serving the Clarkston/Decatur area, Dwell Cleaning’s existence is driven by two core purposes: to help you keep your home and business clean and to employ local refugees. Founder and executive director Andrew Kraft started Dwell Service back in 2012 with one employee and has grown it into a business that is good not just for the home, but for the community. The origin of Dwell centers around giving these refugees the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of themselves and of their families and you can help! To request their cleaning services, call (404-884-7049) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). They’re open Monday-Friday from 8AM-5PM. Visit DwellService.com for more information.
(2) Sweet, Sweet Syria
As everyone knows, the path to the soul is with food, but for Ruwaida, it is so much more than that. For her, food is the key connecting her back home. Food is the way in which she will grow. Food is the way in which she seeks to show the warm, familial side of her country that many only see now as war-torn. Through the success of a GoFundMe account and numerous, generous supporters of her newfound entrepreneurship, Ruwaida has crafted a cookie business here in Atlanta that shows the ‘sweet, sweet’ side of Syria. The foundation of her craft, her Syrian cookie molds, were one of the very few items her family brought with them to America and in a beautiful twist of fate, these cookie molds are bringing Ruwaida and her family hope in a new country. Learn more about Ruwaida’s story at sweetsweetsyria.com and like their Facebook page (Sweet, Sweet Syria) to stay updated on when cookie orders can be placed.
(3) Refuge Coffee Co.
At Refuge, they’re bringing energy and life into the Clarkston/Atlanta area and not just with caffeine. As a company committed to the personal success of local refugees, Refugee Coffee Co. hopes to bridge the gaps in the community’s approach to helping refugees starting first with opportunity, hospitality, and awareness to the problems they face in adjusting to life here in Atlanta. Along with job training and employment opportunities for refugees, Refuge Coffee Co. also hopes to change the surrounding environment with which these refugees now live with the hope of opening up minds in the area to a symbiotic relationship that is so necessary for the success of residents in the area, both old and new. So whether you like a good cause or just really love coffee, show your support for Refuge Coffee Co. and get caffeinated AND cultured. They’re open 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday, 7AM-6PM) so stop by for a taste at 4170 E. Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Clarkston, GA 30021. Visit refugeecoffeeco.com to learn more about how Refuge Coffee Co. is changing (and caffeinating) local lives.
Photo Credit: WSBTV