How to help refugees who are not acclimated to St. Louis' winter - KMOV.com

How to help refugees who are not acclimated to St. Louis' winter season

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The upcoming winter season will come as a total shock for the more than 1,000 refugees that have re-settled in the St. Louis area in the last year.           

That’s why the International Institute of St. Louis is asking the community to help make the transition easier.

Just last week, 40 people from a 50 county area surrounding St. Louis took the oath of allegiance to become U.S citizens. It’s a testament to the growing number of refugees who now call St. Louis home, and in October and November 200 more refugees arrived in the area.

These are people from relatively warm areas of the world like the Congo, Nepal and Syria.

Anna Crosslin, President and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, said one way to help the refugees get better acclimated is by getting involved in the Institute's Winter Warm Up Drive, a program where the community donates coats, scarves even warm blankets to refugees in need.

“They may need a second or third blanket to be able to cover themselves because their heat they may not be able to afford to put the heat up as high as some of us do in their homes,” she said.

Then there’s the Homecoming Basket Program, where residents can donate everyday items like shampoo, wash cloths and soap. Those items will be used as a welcome basket once refugees arrive in their new homes.

 “Obviously there’s the forks and knives and spoons that people need to be able to be able to prepared and eat a meal but there’s also the buckets and the brooms and the cleaning supplies to be able to maintain a household,” Crosslin said.

You can reach out to the International Institute of St. Louis here.

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