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Shrewsbury trampoline park welcomes Syrian, Afghan refugees for free visit

Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park welcomed new Syrian and Afghan families to St. Louis with a free visit.

SHREWSBURY, Mo. — Moving to a new country requires taking a leap of faith. 

"Very hard, cause there's not a lot of people that we knew, and there was nobody to help us that much," Irfan Nawabi said.

Nawabi, 13, and his family moved from Afghanistan to St. Louis in 2018.

"I didn't know English at that time and my dad, my whole family didn't know English, they couldn't speak it so it was very hard for us at first whenever we came here," Nawabi said.

Madeleine Grucza with Welcome Neighbor STL helps Syrian and Afghan refugees with the resettlement process.

"To date, just Welcome Neighbor we're supporting 212 individuals mostly from Afghanistan," Grucza said.

She got in touch with Matt Strelo the owner of Rockin' Jump Trampoline Park to welcome these new families to St. Louis with a free visit.

"You look at what's going in Ukraine right now and you just wish you could kind of hug them all. These families that are going to be here tonight were in the same predicament about 6-8 months ago," Strelo said.

"Their hearts are in Afghanistan because most left family behind. Some actually left children behind. Some have left spouses behind," Grucza said. 

"We've actually been asked not to show the adults' faces in any social media because the Taliban could still be after them, but the kids, we're expecting somewhere around 150 kids here today," Strelo said.

These families deal with a lot of stress with having to relocate to a new country, so this event is for the kids, so they could just be kids.

"Here, they are very happy and they want to enjoy and play around and stuff," Nawabi said.

"This Trampoline Park would be a great place during Ramadan for the kids just to relax and have fun together," Grucza said.

Welcome Neighbor STL is working with the International Institute to help Ukrainian refugees resettle to St. Louis.