Cheverus Student Ella Davie '21 Provides Support to All Refugee Relief Project
Today current Cheverus sophomore Ella Davie made a special delivery of important and desperately needed donations of personal care products to the City of Portland Family Shelter, as part of a special All Refugee Relief Project .
This community service project was facilitated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Sanford, ME congregation), in which Ella is an active member. The donations were sourced from congregations from Sanford, ME; Portsmouth, NH; Exeter, NH; Wolfboro, NH, Derry, NH, Georgetown, MA. Additionally the Sanford, ME Universalist Unitarian congregation made a donation to the collection effort.
For months prior to the delivery, Ella volunteered before weekly church services to inventory, organize, and package the donations. Today she helped to unload the donations at the shelter, and she received a tour of the shelter from Jeff Tariff, Program Manager, City of Portland-Family Shelter and Aaron Geyer, City of Portland Health & Human Services Department. On the tour she learned more about the people who receive shelter services, and the difficulties and struggles that accompany journeying to in new country to begin a new life.
The donations were plentiful and help to fulfill a critical need and included: 3,559 diapers, 141 toothbrushes, 4,098 baby wipes 43 boxes of tissues, 102 hair care products, 162 cleaning products, 529 tubes of toothpaste, 104 bottles of lotion, 3,160 feminine hygiene products, and hundreds of winter jackets, scarves, gloves and hats.
This experience was particulary meaningful for Ella following the recent presentation at Cheverus by Catholic Charities of Maine, offering an all-school storytelling retreat that afforded all students the opportunity to gather in small groups to listen to the personal reflections of Simane Ibrahim, Parivash Rohani, Nasser Rohani, and Ninette Irabaruta -- who are immigrants to the United States. This special program was part of a yearlong effort organized by our World Language Department to bring to life our the community wide summer read, Amy Bass's book One Goal.
Ella shared, “I really enjoyed the fact that I was able to hear from refugees at Cheverus. Thinking about that experience, I was given an opportunity to identify needs of local refugees in the Portland area. I was able to be a part of providing tangible items to help bring comfort to their new lives during a difficult time of transition.”