JMU becomes the 14th charter of Every Campus a Refuge

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 6:34 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - James Madison University received the 14th charter of Every Campus a Refuge to help house new neighbors in collaboration with Church World Service.

CWS is the refugee and immigration resettlement agency in Harrisonburg. They work with incoming people to help them adjust to the Shenandoah Valley.

Steve Grande, director of community service learning at JMU, said the work JMU has put into this program will benefit not only the families, but the people involved.

“We live in a world that has challenges that can feel overwhelming and feel daunting,” Grande said. “This one of those times where we can reverse all that when you can put yourself in this role serving someone else not only for the family but for the person serving in that role.”

Sarah Alice Coleman, associate director of programs at CWS, said this program will help at least 4 families over the summer.

“It’s always nice for families to have a comfortable spot to land when they first arrive,” Coleman said. “We’re hoping to place at least four possibly eight families in campus housing this summer again.”

Coleman said the volunteers and JMU community will bring a new perspective to the organization and the families.

“What I think partnerships like this with JMU provides is a lot of warmth, we’re here to serve them professionally but we love when our volunteers can be their friends and show them their community and make them feel at home here,” Coleman said.