How Welcome Neighbor STL Is Helping Refugees Find Their Place In St. Louis
The organization that has now raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for refugees in the St. Louis area, and helped connect them with the community along the way, started with a news story.
Jessica Bueler, a social media marketing expert, was horrified in 2016 by a story she read in the Riverfront Times detailing how teenage Syrian refugees living in north St. Louis had recently been attacked by a group of locals. She realized the Syrians, who’d recently fled the war there, were living just about a mile from the Loop, where she worked.
“I was reading this paper and thinking about what other people are reading this right now and going, ‘Oh my God, this is terrible that this group of teenage boys were attacked and sent to the hospital.’ And then I pictured everybody else around St. Louis just turning the page to the next page,” she said. “And for some reason, that image stuck with me all night.”