PERNA

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I was doing a shift at target and everything seemed normal until this lady came up with bedding items. Most of theses items were out of our system and we could no longer sell them, I hate having to tell people this because they usually like to argue about it as if I could change the rules, so I told her as gently and politely as I could that we could not sell them anymore. I already felt bad because out of all the items she was getting only one was recognized, like come on target you had one job, so she asked if she could speak to a manager which was understandable unlike many others who say this for something so small. Therefore, I turned on my blinker to signal my manger and the lady said if there was anyway that we could make a exception for the sake of her wanting to give it to refuges. At first I wanted to make sure if she was serious or just saying that. She continued to say that the refugees she was giving the items to were Afghan and that they could really use it. She mentioned that she was a volunteer at PERNA which is an organization to help refuges get back n their feet. At that point I had to really take moment to process the information to say that I was shocked is an understatement hearing her call them Afghan refuges recollected the fact that I am one as well. I told her, did I mention she was white which made this even more shocking , that I am Afghan as well and that I had been there done that at one point but it was not as difficult as it is now given that more people are afraid Muslims. So my manager finally comes over and says that she still can't sell her the items; however, she did say that she would be opened to partnering with her in the future. She also asked me if I could help her by being a translator I was like of course are kidding I would love to. After a couple of days I decided to call her and she sent me an email to the person in charge to arrange a way to meet the refugee families. The person in charge came an picked me up on her way to visit the families. Each family reminded me of mine and how grateful I was to be apart of something like this. They all had prepared us chia with some snacks and  I got to practice speaking Dari which was refreshing because I didn't really have anyone to practice that with outside of my family. At first I was a little nervous speaking  it because it was weird in that I usually spoke English as a matter fact I spoke Spanish more than that. However, I eventually got a hang of it and it felt more natural it was as if  a part of found itself in speaking with these family. I also got to see how even in hard times they found a way to stick together and make life work out. The next time that I saw them was when PERNA was hosting a potluck which was amazing so much delicious food and just getting to them was something beautiful.

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