No religion, no politics, just community: How refugees learn to celebrate Thanksgiving

8 mins read


Hundreds of refugees celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend outside Washington, D.C., at the Ethiopian Community Development Council, a refugee resettlement agency.

How did an Ethiopian community nonprofit come to help refugees from Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, El Salvador and Ukraine?

ECDC started in 1983 to help Ethiopians displaced because of conflict and famine, but it is now one of nine U.S. resettlement agencies that partner with the United Nations. Since last year, the nonprofit has helped nearly 1,600 refugees begin new lives in Northern Virginia, 95% of them Afghans.

That’s how my family heard of the agency.

After Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021 when the United States withdrew our military from Afghanistan, my husband wanted to help with the humanitarian crisis. As an editor with a defense contractor, Bob is close with his Afghan American colleagues and friends. Including them in our lives has only enriched our family. 



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