YES Programs



Collecting Donations for Local Refugees in Host Community

Student Collects Donations For Local Charity In The Back Of Her Car

By Hajra Smajic (YES 2021-2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed by AFS in Rochester, NY)

Hajra here! I am an exchange student under the YES program from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from a small town called Tešanj. I am hosted in Rochester, New York! Under the organization in charge of my placement, AFS, I have done a leadership project in my community I would like to share with you and hopefully be posted on the Instagram page of YES! I collected donations from the public library of Irondequoit, NY where I spent most of my time volunteering! The community members helped with giving so many menstrual pads, toothbrushes, and other essential goods. I was very happy that they supported me and participated, also I did another donation collection in my German class where I required a certain number of items as for people to be motivated to participate. 

Various donated hygiene products, diapers, and other supplies for local refugee families

I later brought traditional Bosnian baklava desserts as a treat! All the items were delivered to Mary’s Place Refugee Outreach - an organization providing donations that helps the local refugees in Rochester! I think this was one of the best experiences I have had, and I am glad I was able to make a small significant change in my community! I hope you enjoyed reading about it!

This regular donation drive, which started in March 2020, has been delivering weekly, hygiene products, food, and information resources to over 205 locally resettled refugee families in Rochester, NY of nearly 14 different nationalities. Thanks to the community service of #KLYES students like Hajra, without which such service would not be possible.