Ethiopian Immigrant, Beshewa, is grateful for opportunities he has got in the United States since he came from Ethiopia in 2010.
Nominee: Beshewa, his wife and their two daughters, ages 4 and 1
Nominated by: Jennifer Swalboski, employment counselor, HIRED
Nominating agency: HIRED provides job-skills training and employment assistance to people making the transition from welfare to work, dislocated workers, low-income adults, recent immigrants and youth. HIRED’s mission is to provide personalized and innovative work solutions by matching clients with a HIRED employment counselor who helps the job seeker meet his or her goals with a personalized employment plan.
Backstory: “Beshewa and his wife, Menbere, immigrated to the United States in July of 2010,” Swalboski wrote in the nomination. “Beshewa left behind his mom and seven brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. When asked why he immigrated to the U.S., Beshewa said, ‘I really value the diversity and opportunities that exist here.’ Shortly after arriving in Minnesota, Beshewa started working at the (Minneapolis-St. Paul International) airport in the summer of 2010. He was quickly given full-time hours in September of 2010 and performed various maintenance and cleaning jobs around the airport.
“Beshewa started taking classes at St. Paul College in 2011 while continuing to work. In November 2013, Beshewa purchased his own taxi cab and completed the necessary licensure. He was able to make ends meet for his family while he attended school by driving his taxi on weekends and some nights.
“Beshewa’s wife has been sick for almost a year now and it has put a lot of pressure on him. Beshewa started a two-year Medical Laboratory Technician program at St. Paul College this fall. Attending school full time, Monday through Friday, has not allowed Beshewa to work as much as he has in the past. He also spends the majority of his time on nights and weekends caring for his family and attending to household needs as his wife is unable to help as much because of her sickness.”
Why Beshewa was nominated: “I have been Beshewa’s employment counselor for the last 13 months,” Swalboski wrote. “I have watched him work hard in school and as a taxi driver to provide for his family. I’m continually surprised by his resilience and determination to make a great life for his family. Beshewa talks about obtaining his U.S. citizenship. He told me how happy he was to have the chances we have in the United States. He loves this country and feels blessed that he has been given the chance to start over, work hard, and go to school so that he can be successful for his wife and daughters.”
Beshewa’s Holiday Wishes: “Books, diapers, earrings for his wife, a new bicycle for his 4-year-old.”
HOW TO HELP
Online: Secure donations can be made at gtcuw.org/holidaywishes.
Mail: Send a check to Holiday Wishes, c/o Greater Twin Cities United Way, 404 Eighth St. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404-1084. Make checks payable to United Way.
Guidelines: Donations by check or credit card are preferred. Please do not buy the family’s specific wish list; instead, donate so families can buy what they need in the correct sizes. Checks made out to individuals cannot be accepted.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Household: Donate furniture and household goods to the families via Bridging, a local nonprofit furniture bank. Learn more and view a complete list of items to donate at bridging.org or call 952-888-1105.
Vehicles: Holiday Wishes handles families’ requests for vehicles through Community Emergency Assistance Programs. A local family, who has asked to remain anonymous, has again pledged to help subsidize the transportation component of Holiday Wishes. Your donations also are needed to keep this program affordable for the low-income families.
Bicycles: Every year, Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles, a St. Paul business, provides bicycles for Holiday Wishes families who request them. This year, the bicycle shop is fixing up 38 bicycles for children and adults. Find more on the store’s Facebook page.
2015 HOLIDAY WISHES
For almost 20 years now, the Pioneer Press has teamed with Greater Twin Cities United Way — and our readers — to raise money for local families in need. The Pioneer Press shares the families’ stories and hopes for the holiday season; United Way gives readers a way to help make the families’ wishes come true. Nominations of several of the families for this year’s program will appear in the newspaper through Christmas Day. Find these stories — and more information on how to help — at gtcuw.org/holidaywishes.
Double the impact of your donation through the Holiday Wishes Target Corporation Match Challenge. If Holiday Wishes raises $10,000 by Dec. 17, Target will match this amount for the families.
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