Mariangela Taylor is a single mother of four who lives in Ellicott City, Maryland. While not a refugee herself, she empathized with the heart-wrenching stories of those escaping war and persecution and the immense challenges faced by those seeking the chance of a better life and decided to volunteer with the IRC.
Supporting the IRC through the welcome home project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. - Mariangela Taylor
Through the unwavering support of her family, friends, and even strangers, Mariangela received a B.A. and M.A. from two of the most prestigious universities in the United States, and now holds a career in cybersecurity. “I believe that every person on this earth deserves an equal opportunity to pursue happiness, which is why the mission of the IRC resonates with me. Volunteering is an opportunity to ease the journey for another family, even if just a little.”
Mariangela wanted to pay back the kindnesses she received by participating in IRC’s welcome home project, by which volunteers collect and store essential household furniture, goods, and food, transport these items to an apartment, and unpack and create a welcoming home for a refugee family.
“Supporting the IRC through the welcome home project has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And while the IRC provides a list of required household items, they offer flexibility to collect items at my own pace and there’s always room for adding personal touches, be it plants, welcome baskets, or stuffed animals. I love that my daughters can help me search for gently used treasures,” Mariangela shared. “I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching out to friends, family, and neighbors for donations - there are so many good people who wish to help. Envisioning the spark of joy in someone’s eyes as they step into their new home makes the effort all worth it!”