ROANOKE, Va. – Making sure more than 100 Afghan evacuees resettled comfortably here in the United States is the act that landed Samim Noorzad in the hero spotlight.
In February, the last of the Afghan refugees, who were waiting for resettlement at eight U.S. military installations, completed a journey that started with the evacuation of Kabul in August.
The United States admitted 76,000 Afghans as part of Operation Allies Welcome which is the largest resettlement in the country.
Noorzad, the program manager for Commonwealth Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, got right to work over the past three months.
With hard work and long hours, he successfully resettled 130 Afghan evacuees who had been living on those military bases.
With each family, Noorzad ensured they felt welcomed by coordinating an overwhelming community response. That included assigning each family with a volunteer and receiving donations of school supplies, clothes and culturally appropriate food.
He and his organization got children the resources they needed to enroll in school and they got adults the resources they needed to find stable employment.
“Roanoke is widely known as a welcoming city, and much of that has to do with folks like Samim, who work tirelessly to ensure everyone feels welcomed in their home in Roanoke,” the American Red Cross said.
The American Red Cross is proud to award Samim Noorzad and CCC as the 2022 Workplace Hero.