World Relief opens new location to welcome refugees to Thurston County

Mar 16, 2023
Written by WR Communications

World Relief leaders, local representatives join in on the ribbon cutting ceremony.


WR joined with World Relief Western Washington for their grand opening ribbon-cutting event in Olympia last week. The occasion brought together a diverse group of participants, including World Relief staff and volunteers, supporting organizations, leaders of state agencies, and prominent figures from the local community. In addition, Rose Gundersen, WR VP of Operations & Retail Services, and Andy Ryder, Lacey Mayor and WR board member, attended the event.

World Relief Western Washington’s focus will be providing settlement services and establishing a safe landing in Thurston County to support refugees from around the globe. Specifically, they will offer resettlement support for refugees entering the community and help them by facilitating access to safe housing, providing cultural orientation, and offering support in enrolling their children in nearby schools.

Of note is World Relief Western Washington’s history over the past 40 years of working with hundreds of local companies to employ newly arrived refugees and immigrants. The organization supports the process with various services, including necessary paperwork, transportation, and language translation. Their employment services align with WR’s Workforce Initiative, a practical application of our commitment to our JEDI (justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion) principles.

This new location anticipates welcoming at least 50 refugees in its first year of operation.

“We are thrilled to open this new office as an expansion of Western Washington’s efforts to welcome refugees and demonstrate God’s heart for displaced people,” said Medard Ngueita, Executive Director of World Relief Western Washington. “At World Relief, we walk alongside refugees and immigrants in the beginning stages of their move to Washington to help them rebuild a sense of home.”

Learn more about World’s Relief’s work in Washington and how to get involved at


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