For nearly 35 years, Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida (LSS) in Jacksonville, Florida has provided refugee services in partnership with LIRS and other social service ministries. Through resettlement and placement, integration assistance, employment services and other programs, LSS has helped thousands of refugees integrate into the local Jacksonville community.
One of those individuals, Galina Volkovinskaya, immigrated to the United States in the late 1980’s from the Ukraine. Today, she works alongside LSS to assist other refugee families. We are grateful that the story of her journey and her work with LSS was featured recently on WTLV, the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville.
Reporter Michelle Quesada writes about the joys Volkovinskaya encountered when she arrived in the United States:
“I cried, and cried, and cried,” said Volkovinskaya as she described the joy she felt to have her very own three-bedroom apartment to live in with her husband and two daughters.
Now, she helps others experience these joys and freedoms. Quesada writes:
She still has family that chose to stay in Ukraine, but has dedicated her new life in America to helping other refugees start over by working with Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville.
This story is a wonderful example of what we strive for at LIRS: to provide refugees with the support they need to not only empower themselves, but also to empower others. To view Galina’s story and to learn more about the work of Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville, an LIRS partner, please click here.
If this story moves you and you would like to know more about how to welcome refugees, please click here.