My name is Wasan Alabbasi and I am a refugee from Iraq. I joined Olivenbaum as a student in 2016 because my family needed help settling in U.S. Everything was new to us and we didn't know simple things such as sending mail to pay our bills. I became involved in Olivenbaum and I realized that I can do my part to help in my new community. The first step was hard because I did not know how I can volunteer but at Olivenbaum, I started to help by translating English songs into Arabic. I also became the liaison to help other Arabic speaking students connect to Olivenbaum for any help. I became comfortable being up in front of people translating and many of my friends also want to find ways to volunteer to make our community stronger.
At Olivenbaum during COVID-19, I gathered other refugee students to make masks for anyone who needed it. We made over 1000 masks and donated to Beaverton High School, Homeless Shelters, Good Neighbor Center, and multiple senior living centers. We also made clear masks for people with hearing loss, American Sign Language teachers, audiologists in North Carolina, and On the Move Community Integration - a wonderful nonprofit "supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in accessing their community through healthy, meaningful, and sustainable activities.
I want to encourage everyone to do your part to come together as a community.