HWPL Georgia Branch celebrated 2023 Year-End Gala to commemorate International Day of Volunteer
On December 1, 2023, HWPL Georgia hosted an End of Year Gala in commemoration of the International Day of Volunteer. The event was attended by 87 people who support HWPL.
December 5th is known as the ‘International Day of Volunteers.’ It was established as an international commemorative day in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the UN Volunteers.
Clarkson Georgia, is a destination location for refugees entering the United States. The city is only 3.6 square kilometers but hosts people from 40 different nationalities, speaking 60 languages. Fifty percent of Clarkston’s residents are refugees who were not born in the United States.
Since December 2022, HWPL Georgia has held volunteer drives and collections to provide support for the refugees in Clarkston, Georgia. The Branch distributed 1,700 articles of clothing, 10,658 hygiene products, 1,458 school supplies, and 1,016 food items. Over 200 refugees were serviced through these efforts.
While HWPL volunteers felt rewarded through these campaigns, they also learned that refugees had left their hometowns because of war. Therefore, a special year-end gala to celebrate International Volunteer Day on December 5th was planned, and the volunteers decided to produce and screen a documentary about refugees at the gala.
Volunteers conducted interviews with residents of the refugee community. Focusing on war, which is a major cause of refugees, we produced the documentary “Because of War,” which conveys the message that what these people want is for the war to end and to return to their hometowns. The documentary not only focuses on the horrors of war, but also emphasizes how the positive impact of volunteer work can change society, conveying the message that we must all come together as one to overcome difficulties.
People from all walks of life who attended the gala were moved by the documentary and expressed their intention to donate to refugee support activities. As a result, 15 people participated in the donation, and a total of $3,500 was raised, and the attendees expressed their intention to participate in the activity by signing up as HWPL members. State Representative Segun Adeyina, who attended the gala, said, “HWPL’s commitment to peace-building and empowerment is truly commendable. Together, we can create a more harmonious and powerful future for all”. Additionally, state representatives who attended the gala with Mr. Segun Adeyina were very pleased with the event and held an idea of screening the documentary at the House of Representatives.
The year-end gala not only celebrated past peace achievements, but also laid the foundation for HWPL’s business direction for the next year. The donations raised will be delivered to provide educational scholarships for refugee children.