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Rocky urges Salt Lake residents to mentor refugees

Mayor Rocky Anderson is encouraging Salt Lake City residents to become volunteer mentors to refugee families in an effort to build a more inclusive, welcoming and caring community.

Nearly 4,000 refugees from countries throughout the world have resettled in Salt Lake City over the past five years, and another 200 are expected to arrive this month, city officials said.

"As we welcomed the world to our city during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, we should also welcome refugees, who are often fleeing war-torn, poverty-stricken countries, to our community and help them succeed and thrive," Anderson said.

Salt Lake City recently was ranked third in the nation in average annual volunteer hours by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the mayor said.

Family mentors receive orientation from community-based agencies that assist refugees and are assigned to a refugee family. Mentors provide assistance in orienting the family to its new home, and serve as a cultural resource.

To become a volunteer mentor or for more information, contact Josie Valdez in the mayor's office of diversity at 535-7734 or