Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park welcomed new Syrian and Afghan families to St. Louis with a free tour.
SHREWSBURY, Mo. — Moving to a new country takes a leap of faith.
“Very hard, because there weren’t many people we knew, and there was no one to help us that much,” Irfan Nawabi said.
Nawabi, 13, and her family moved from Afghanistan to St. Louis in 2018.
“I didn’t know English at the time and my father, all my family didn’t know English, they couldn’t speak it, so it was very difficult for us at the beginning every time we came here” , Nawabi said.
Madeleine Grucza with Welcome Neighbor STL assists Syrian and Afghan refugees in the resettlement process.
“As of today, just Welcome Neighbor, we are supporting 212 people, mostly from Afghanistan,” Grucza said.
She reached out to Matt Strelo, the owner of Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park, to welcome these new families to St. Louis with a free tour.
“You look at what’s happening in Ukraine right now and you just wish you could hug them all. These families who are going to be here tonight were in the same situation about 6-8 months ago,” Strelo said. .
“Their hearts are in Afghanistan because most left families behind. Some actually left children behind. Some left spouses behind,” Grucza said.
“We were actually asked not to show the adults’ faces on social media because the Taliban might still be after them, but kids, we’re expecting around 150 kids here today,” Strelo said.
These families go through a lot of stress of having to move to a new country, so this event is for the kids, so they are just kids.
“Here they are very happy and they want to have fun and play and stuff,” Nawabi said.
“This trampoline park would be a great place during Ramadan for children to relax and have fun together,” Grucza said.
Welcome Neighbor STL works with the International Institute to help Ukrainian refugees resettle in St. Louis.