Volunteers helping refugees adjust to life in Nashville - WSMV Channel 4

Volunteers helping refugees adjust to life in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A group of Middle Tennessee volunteers are Paying It 4Ward to refugees adapting to a new life in Nashville, where things can be very different.

Joseph Weekly volunteers a few hours a week to hang out with his new pal, 14-year-old Jeremy Remezo, a refugee from Tanzania, through the Catholic Charities Refugee Youth Mentoring Program.

Refugee is the official word, but really Jeremy is just a kid wanting a better life.

"In America, people were great. They have shoes. They have money," he said. "The way people eat is different."

But there's a way to smooth the transition to America.

Most of what Jeremy sees is mesmerizing and brand new, so Weekly spends time with him and explains some of the new and interesting ways of life.

"I took him to the dry cleaner. I had to get some dry cleaning done, and one day when we were out and about. He'd never been to the drycleaner, so, you know, he's right. I wouldn't have expected him to ever see a dry cleaner," Weekly said.

On this day came another eye opening experience: a tour of Nashville's Musicians Hall of Fame.

"Have you ever listened to a record or played with a record?" Weekly asked Jeremy. "When I was a kid, we had records."

All of this is a sort of welcome wagon of wisdom about the American culture, and Jeremy is loving it.

"Yeah, pretty great," he said. "I saw Elvis, the rock star guy. I like that guy. My brother's always doing his voice."

It's simple and fun, while making a difference in one life.

Catholic Charities of Tennessee is looking for more volunteers willing to spend a couple hours a week with new refugees to Nashville.

For more information, visit: http://www.cctenn.org.

And if you think you know someone doing a great job Paying It 4Ward in our community, email terry.bulger@wsmv.com.

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