In Honor Of Dads

This Father's Day we're shining a light on some incredible Hello Neighbor fathers. Read about how you can give a gift this that impacts multiple fathers at the same time.

Shining a Light on Fathers


With World Refugee Day and Father’s Day right around the corner, we want to use this special opportunity to shine a light on our Hello Neighbor fathers and the incredible impact they have made on their children. They have sacrificed so much to protect and support their families, and we are continuously inspired by their determination to build a better life and future for their children.

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift?

This Father’s Day, you have the unique opportunity to give a gift to that keeps on giving. When you make a donation in honor of your father, he will receive the gift of knowing that he helped support refugee fathers in Pittsburgh. Additionally, when you donate on behalf of your dad, we will send him a special Father’s Day e-card thanking him and letting him know the impact his gift has made.

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Bonus Gift!

When you make a donation over $40, we will send your dad a free Hello Neighbor t-shirt. If you sign up to be a monthly donor, you will receive TWO t-shirts, one for you and one for dad (because who doesn’t love matching?). The tri-cotton blend Hello Neighbor t-shirt features a soft feel, comfortable fit, and positive message of welcome. Available in S-XL.

*All t-shirts will be shipped the week of June 22nd.


Stories of Fatherhood

Atullah’s Story

Atullah, his wife Alya, and their four children joined Hello Neighbor in 2017 after resettling in Pittsburgh just one year prior. Before arriving in the U.S. their family spent two years in a refugee camp in Jordan awaiting refugee status after fleeing their home in Syria due to war.

Shortly after joining the program, their mentors noticed what an incredible cook Alya was and encouraged her and Atullah to pursue their dream of opening a restuarant. Alya enrolled in Hello Neighbor’s Food Social Enterprise program where she grew in confidence and worked in collaboration with local chefs to prepare and serve her food to the community.

In October of 2019, Alya and Atullah purchased a space in Morgantown, West Virginia and opened up their very own restaurant, Rawabi Mediterranean Grill. Listen to Atullah share his story above and his journey to building a better life for his family.


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Bassel’s Story

Bassel was born in Damascus, Syria. He fell in love with his childhood neighbor Maisaa and the two were married in 2004 and started a family together.

In 2012 Bassel and Maisaa were forced to leave home because of the war. They first traveled to Amman, Jordan where they lived in a refugee camp awaiting approval to resettle in the U.S. After four years they were granted refugee status and resettled in Pittsburgh. They now have four children, the youngest of which, Mohammad, is the first American citizen in their family.

When they first arrived in Pittsburgh their family did not know what to expect. They had always been social and enjoyed being around other people, but they suddenly found themselves in a place where they knew no one and did not speak the language to make friends as quickly as they’d hoped. Bassel and Maisaa heard about Hello Neighbor and signed up for the Mentorship Program in 2018.

For Father’s Day, we asked Bassel and his daughter Maha to sit down and answer a few questions about the meaning of Fatherhood. Read their answers below.

Father

Name: Bassel

What does fatherhood mean to you?
Responsibility.

What makes someone a good father?
Seeing your kids be good kids and successful. That’s the measure of a good father.

What is your favorite thing about being a father?
When I see my kids being good and becoming successful. My oldest daughter Maha wants to be a doctor and do good things in her career—that makes me proud.

What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
To see them reach the highest places—the top of the top. I want to see them get to a better place and to excel in life. That’s what I hope and dream for my kids.

Child

Name: Maha

What is your favorite thing about your dad?
I guess it’s his personality. He’s not like any other father I know. He’s a cool dad. He’s done a lot of things. My favorite is that he is able to do anything for his kids.

What has your dad taught you?
To always be myself.

What is your happiest memory with your dad?
When he came back home and surprised me with Kennywood tickets. And celebrating his birthday—he gave a big bright smile. We brought home white cake and made dinner at home and had a surprise party. He had a big bright smile with a shocked face.

What would you like to say to your dad on Father’s Day?
Thank you for everything.

Anything you’d like to add?
He’s such an amazing dad.


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Greg’s Story

Greg and his wife Rosemary, along with their daughter Lucy, signed up to be Hello Neighbor mentors in June of 2019. They were matched with Wan Na (husband), Myat Myat (wife) and their three children Lar Soe San, Nay Yang Leng, and Lawon Kyin.

The mentee family fled their home in Myanmar and stayed in Malaysia for six years awaiting refugee status before being resettled in Pittsburgh in 2014. After signing up for Hello Neighbor’s Mentorship Program, the two families became fast friends and their kids bonded quickly. The fathers, Greg and Wan Na, had many conversations sharing their culture with one another and exploring options for Wan Na to purchase a home and earn his welding certificate. When asked about his view of Wan Na from the perspective of a father, here’s what Greg said:

Wan Na delights in his children! He enjoys teaching them things and is open enough to learn from them too. Parenting is its own language. I have much respect for Wan Na, working at times two jobs, putting in a ton of time serving his monastery, and being active in his three kids’ lives. If I worked the kind of hours he works, I would mope around all day. Wan Na is upbeat and optimistic. He is as good an influence on me as he is on his own family. Find me five welders and Wan Na will out-weld them all! The man lays a bead straighter than an arrow!”

Greg and his daughter Lucy filled out the Q&A below to speak about the true meaning of fatherhood and what makes a good father.

Father

Name: Greg

What does fatherhood mean to you?
It means everything to me.

What makes someone a good Father?
Patience and awareness that whatever you exude, your children pick up.

What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
I want my girls to have happy, productive lives, find success in interesting things, and learn from mistakes they will make along the way.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
Parenting is the sum of thousands of small interactions.

Child

Name: Lucy (age 5)

What is your favorite thing about your dad?
He comes in the pool with me and he plays fire fighter with me and sprays me with the water hose.

What has your dad taught you?
How to ride my bike!

What is your happiest memory with your dad?
When he plays crazy with me. Me and daddy are good at playing hide and seek with mommy. We like to hide when mommy isn’t around.

What would you like to say to your dad on Father’s Day?
Happy Father’s Day daddy!


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Hannan’s Story

Hannan, his wife Kadifa, their three children and one grandchild joined Hello Neighbor this year and were matched with mentors Wes and Kathleen in January. The two families only had the opportunity to meet a few times in person before COVID-19 began to spread and social distancing practices were put into place. They two families have found creative ways to continue to grow their friendship from a safe distance, be it through FaceTime, sending meals to one another’s homes, or coming over to stand on the porch and catch up from six feet away.

Hannan and his family are originally from Syria, however they were forced to flee due to war and religious persecution. They spent years in a refugee camp in Turkey before they were granted refugee status and resettled in Pittsburgh in 2016.

In Syria, Hannan owned his own embroidery factory. He named it after his middle daughter Marina. When asked why he chose to name his business after her, he said that he had tried to name it for all three of his daughters, but that proved to be a mouth-full and his daughters agreed it should be named for Marina

For Father’s Day, we asked Hannan to sit down and answer a few questions about the meaning of Fatherhood. Read his answers below.

Father

Name: Hannan

What does fatherhood mean to you?
It’s something nice and sweet to know I can take care of my kids. I love my kids. They mean a lot to me.

What makes someone a good Father?
A person who takes care of the kids and home and makes sure the kids’ needs are met. Look out for your kids. A good father doesn’t throw his kids to the street—he takes care of them.

What is your favorite thing about being a father?
What I’m most proud of is that I’ve raised my kids to do what’s right and not wrong. It makes me proud knowing I raised my kids to know the difference between right and wrong.

What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
What I dream of is that they always find happiness and be in higher places (succeed in life).

Is there anything else you would like to share?
My oldest daughter wanted to get married and I didn’t tell her who to marry. Same with my middle daughter. They get to make their own decisions and I am happy for them. My oldest and middle daughter made decisions and I did not pressure them. I will do the same for my youngest daughter.


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Lee’s Story

Lee and his wife Connie, along with their three children Margot, Danny and John, signed up to be Hello Neighbor mentors in June of 2019. They were matched with a refugee family from Syria: Karim (husband), Hania (wife) and their three children Hend, Shahed, and Omran.

In their first in-home meeting, the young children immediately went off to play together while the oldest daughters sat and talked and the parents spent time getting to know one another. They formed an instant bond and throughout the program spent time together sharing meals in one another’s homes, exploring Pittsburgh, having picnics in the park and enjoying time outdoors.

With Karim working six days a week, he was not able to join in every activity, however, Lee and his family cherish the time they’ve gotten to spend with him and his family. When asked about his view of Karim from the perspective of a father, here is what Lee said:

Karim is adored by his three children. When our families were together for events, Karim was frequently unable to join us because of his work schedule. But on those occasions when Karim showed up late, everyone in his family was ecstatic to see him. To me, that’s the biggest testament to him as a father; as a family they’re happiest when he’s a part of it. It is obvious to me how much he loves his family.

Lee and his son Danny filled out the Q&A below to speak about the true meaning of fatherhood and what makes a good father.

Father

Name: Lee

What does fatherhood mean to you?
I love being a father. To me fatherhood means being actively engaged in my children’s lives as a blend of parent, friend, and mentor. Whether it’s helping them with school work, attending their sporting events, offering advice, or just spending time with them, I try to be present and enjoy our time together.

What makes someone a good Father?
Fatherhood is definitely a test of patience at times. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. I think a good Father is someone who can just let loose and have fun with their children but is also able to provide structure and discipline in a loving, constructive way when it’s needed.

What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
I hope my children grow up to be happy, confident, and engaged members of their community. I also hope that my wife Connie and I have prepared our children with strong morals, a sense of compassion for those who are less fortunate, and a desire to use their skills and talents to help others in any way they can.

Child

Name: Danny (age 12)

What is your favorite thing about your dad?
That my dad likes doing things with me and as a family, like family vacations, bike rides, and runs.

What has your dad taught you?
That I am loved.

What is your happiest memory with your dad?
Driving home from my night basketball games while listening to our favorite tunes in the car.

What would you like to say to your dad on Father’s Day?
Thank you for being patient and taking care of me.


Give one gift with two times the impact this Father’s Day. When you donate to Hello Neighbor, you are providing refugee father’s with the support they need to uplift their families. Donate in honor of your dad and we’ll send him a special Father’s Day e-card and *t-shirt!

Donate For Dads


*T-shirts available only for donations over $40 (receive one free t-shirt) or new monthly donors (receive two free t-shirts).