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Stepping Out

As a friend, I followed Denise Chang’s journey as she completed her degree in Social Studies and Migration and all the work she did to help immigrants at the border and in detention centers. For her, it was more than a Masters Degree, it was an experience in helping people and efforts to affect policy in order to create a better society for us all to live in. What a big vision she had then, and has now!

As her nonprofit Colorado Hosting Asylum Network (CHAN) started growing, I dipped my toe in to help out a little here and there. As it grew more, I helped out with information processing and organization. I only wanted to work from my home office, behind my computer screen! What skills did I have that would help someone new to our country? The introvert in me and lack of confidence in my knowledge of the world outside my bubble held me back from reaching out to people in need. Then, in 2022, the Humanitarian Crisis hit Colorado.

As we said then, it was "all boots on the ground!” I had to bravely step out from behind my computer screen, out into the world of kind, beautiful people who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

CHAN has given me the opportunity to form relationships with people who are not just clients, but friends. Not just volunteers and team members, but new friends. It has given me an opportunity to give back to the world, to make a difference to someone and to be a small part of making our community a better place.

I am blessed to be a part of the CHAN organization.

Thank you Denise for being patient with me!

Tomi Stage

Information Specialist, Volunteer & Board Member

Colorado Hosting Asylum Network (CHAN)

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