Let's Be HumanKind

This year we're celebrating our shared humanity

Video featuring Michelle Cardinal talking with Kevin Sturtevant from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Home for the holidays. It's a tradition that we all cherish, but is sadly not available to many. For those forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution or violence, finding a new one can be fraught with turmoil and danger. That's why this year we emphasize HumanKindness, by supporting the 111-year-old non-profit U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants as they help those in need find new homes in this country. Especially today, we aim to give relief and welcome our Afghan brothers and sisters as they navigate a new life here in America.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

0M

people forcibly displaced due to violence, persecution, conflict or human rights violations.

0/0

of displaced people come from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.

0M

million immigrants in North America. 3M refugees have settled in the U.S. since 1975.

0

All 50 states have accepted refugees into their communities.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Our Stories

The uniquely American success story is rooted in our longstanding tradition of encouraging people from all over the globe to seek a better life here. See some of our own Rain immigration and refugee stories here.

Alice Li's maternal side family from the early 1980s

Alice Li

Media Supervisor

I am second-generation born in the Philippines, and can speak multiple languages.

This is my maternal side family photo, taken in Manila in the early 80s. Both of my grandparents immigrated from Fujian province in China to Manila around the 1920s. During that time, the Chinese Exclusion Act was in place because the Philippines were part of the US territory—my grandfather had to buy a deceased man's name to migrate into the country for a better opportunity. As a result, my maternal side carries two last names: one is Tan, our Western name used in all appropriate documents, and our true Chinese name on my maternal side: Po.

Alison Cosler's grandfather who swam across the Rio Grande when he was 12 years old

Alison Cosler

Production Manager, Production

This is a photo of my grandpa.

He swam across the Rio Grande by himself when he was 12 years old. He knew no one in the US—we don't know how he survived. He and my Grandma raised 10 kids. The whole family were migrant workers, traveling to Oregon from Texas every year. All my uncles were in the military; two ended up being postal workers. One aunt was a very successful Avon lady. Another aunt was the first Latina nun in Oregon. One uncle was a fire chief and another worked for the FBI. If you ever wondered about who is risking their lives to get to the USA and what happens to them, now you know a bit of our story.

Beatrice Livioco with her Mother and family playing a traditional Filipino coin game

Beatrice Livioco

Director of Marketing

For New Year's eve, it is a Filipino tradition to throw coins around the house to attract prosperity for the coming year. This holiday is usually celebrated with lots of family and while the coins are being thrown, the children run around grabbing as much as they can. This photo shows my Mommy Lola sneakily adding some coins to my bag – I like to think I was her favorite as I was named after her. We look forward to carrying on this tradition as we just moved into our first home!

Emilio Ramirez's Father and Aunt on a boat

Emilio Ramirez

Programmer/Analyst

My father has had a ton of different jobs throughout his life. One of them was as a migrant worker from Mexico back in the 60s. His English wasn't great, but was the best of the bunch he traveled with so he became the group's spokesman. He got tired of that work eventually and met my mom in a small Texas border town during one of those trips. They married and started a family, but my mom had bigger ideas and moved us all to Chicago when we were little. In time, my pops got his US citizenship and counts that day as one of his proudest. The picture is of my father and his sister before meeting my mother.

Emily Dang as a baby with her Mother, Father and Sister on the beach in the 1980's

Emily Dang

Project Manager

My parents fled Vietnam and left everything they had to immigrate to the U.S. with my older sister. Due to instability after the Vietnam War they wanted a better life for the family. After spending nine months at a refugee camp in the Philippines they eventually landed in Portland, OR in 1987. Shortly thereafter I was born. I hold the honor of being the first American-born citizen on both sides of my family. My parents were able to pass on their culture and traditions to me and I am lucky enough to be bilingual and bicultural.

Erik Stachurski's great, great Grandfather's immigration documents

Erik Stachurski

Financial Reporting Director

I am the great-great-grandson of Russian & Polish immigrants from what is now Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. In 1911, my great-great-grandfather Grigorio Antonov Demasha traveled from Minsk to Chicago. He received two books from Immigrations: a Federal Textbook on Immigration with simple phrases, a US map, holidays, etc., and a Russian-English dictionary. Both are full of notes from 100+ years ago–also interesting to see what was considered “important” information, and how an immigrant got started!

He settled in Pueblo, CO. There he raised cattle with his son, my great-grandfather–a long strange trip if there ever was one!

Iris Brenk with her Mother, Father and Siblings at Christmas

Iris Brenk

Creative Services Manager

I am a first-generation German/Polish-American. My father was born in Poland and my mother in Germany. They met in Germany after World War II and moved to the US in 1950, specifically to Chicago. This is a Christmas photo of me with my parents and siblings. We had many traditions that my husband and two daughters continue to celebrate today: filling shoes left at the door by St. Nikolaus on Dec 6th, hide the pickle ornament in the “live” Christmas tree, sharing oplatek (an embossed Christmas wafer/host) before a traditional meatless dinner, then open gifts before attending midnight mass.

Jessica Beitzel's Great-Grandmother at age 3 in 1907 with her family

Jessica Beitzel

Executive Assistant

Our family arrived at Ellis Island on September 26th, 1856 from Kirchesch, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.

This photo was taken in 1907 in Lake County, Illinois (NW suburbs of Chicago).

The little girl in the white dress (front row) is my great-grandma, Colleta Beitzel. She was 3 years old in this photo and 1 of 12 children. My great-grandma lived until she was 90 years old, so I was fortunate to have met her when I was little.

Collection of photos of Kat Sakat's Grandparents in 1941, and a family portrait from 1925

Kat Sakata

Senior Art Director

My great-grandparents migrated from Japan to Hawaii in the early 1900's. My great-grandfather loved working with his hands and learned carpentry skills while working on the plantations in Hawaii. After he left the plantation he built a large pig farm in Honolulu, which would eventually help to feed the soldiers during the war. Since they were vital to the army, my great-grandfather's family was fortunate to not be forced into internment camps, even though they were of Japanese heritage.

The top photos are pictures of my grandma and grandpa sitting on the beach. It was believed to be taken the day Pearl Harbor was hit, on December 7, 1941. The bottom photo is my grandfather's family portrait taken in 1925.

Collection of photos of Marilyn Davis and her family

Marilyn Davis

EVP & Managing Partner

On my paternal side, both my Dad's family and my biological Mom's family came from neighboring towns in Wales and both settled in Utah and Idaho (Preston, ID & Logan, UT). Additionally, both my adoptive Mom and biological Mom's maternal sides hailed from Denmark and arrived at Ellis Island in the late 1700s within a year of each other and also made their way to the same area in Utah & Idaho. It really is ‘a small world after all'. Fun to imagine that perhaps they even know each other.

Michelle Cardinal sitting on her Grandfather’s lap with her Brother and Sister

Michelle Cardinal

CEO/Co-Founder

This is my grandfather, Saverio Guzzo, with my twin sister Denise, me (on right knee) and my brother Steven when I was one year old.

Papa came from Calabria, Italy, in 1911, and landed in Boston with only the shirt on his back. Papa loved to play the mandolin, sing Italian songs to us kids and garden. He is famous for keeping a fig tree alive year round that he would bury in a small root cellar during the winter months. He was an American soldier in WWI and did manual labor his entire life helping to build tunnels and roads in Boston, making me a proud Italian American granddaughter!

Natalie Sienicki's Great-Grandmother as a baby and her Great-Grandfather's immigration documents from Ellis Island

Natalie Sienicki

Assistant Media Planner

My grandmother and grandfather's parents traveled to the U.S from Italy and Romania, arriving at Ellis Island, and then moved to Detroit, Michigan! My grandfather and grandmother met in high school and got married before my grandfather enlisted in the army. Their names were George and Ida Duditch. I am half Italian, a quarter Romanian and a quarter Polish, but grew up with a heavy Italian influence as my Grandmother could speak Italian, yet never taught me or my sister.

Perlita Anzures-Flores's ancestors working on a farm and a current family photo

Perlita Anzures-Flores

Media Planner

The Flores side of my family immigrated to the US from Coahuila, Mexico in the 1900's. I come from a long line of farm workers and my grandpa Raul was part of the farm workers labor movement led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s!

Grandpa Raul and my grandma Irene Rebollosa raised nine children and have over 20+ grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They dreamed that their grandchildren would have access to opportunities they didn't have in terms of education, economic mobility, and equality.

Their memory and values of hard work, integrity, and the importance of family live on today through their many loved ones!

Rashod Berkley with his Dad, Sister, Aunt and Great Aunt in 2015

Rashod Berkley

Analyst, Marketing Analytics

My dad's side of the family is from Dakar, Senegal on the most western point of Africa. In the photo is my dad, sister, aunt, and great aunt. My dad was the first to come to the US, but back home my family lineage (Thiendella) is pretty revered. We have a long line of family who were (and still are) involved and respected in politics and even to this day griots will sing songs praising our family name. The photo was taken c. 2015.

Son Le as a child with his parents and siblings in Vietnam

Son Le

Asst. Specialist, Digital Media

I'm a new US immigrant for 1 year. But all my parents (picture 1) and siblings (picture 2) are still in Vietnam. I'm the eldest brother with a young sister and two twin brothers.

Stephanie Williams as a child with her Great-Aunt and Grandmother celebrating Christmas

Stefanie Williams

Media Planning Supervisor

My great-great-aunt Mavis (top photo, red dress) is 100% Armenian. She and her family fled Burma on foot after WW2 began, heading to India and then to America with her husband. Some years later after my great-grandma passed away, they sponsored the visa for my grandma Megan (black sweater) to travel from Bombay to the US, ending up in Chicago. It was there in Chicago that she met my grandpa Ken. I'm the littlest cutie in the photos, in the red and white dress, and my big sis is in the top photo in pink. My grandma is now 96 and still has some of the trinkets she took with her from Burma long ago.

Collection of images of Steve Miller and his family over the years

Steve Miller

Client Development Director

My mother moved up to the States from Mexico around 1980, to meet one of her older brothers, who was a migrant farm worker in Central California. My sister and I are Chicano-Americans, who have experienced Mexican culture via several trips south to visit our abuelos, tios and primos for Navidad. We never take our prosperity in a first-world country for granted.

Black and white image of Tim O'Leary's Grandfather Barry O'Leary in front of a house

Tim O'Leary

Co-Founder & Chairman

This is my Grandfather, Barry O'Leary.

He immigrated from Ireland to Montana in 1915. Despite the fact that he was illiterate, and poverty stricken, with the help of his Irish immigrant wife Margaret, they founded and ran a construction company that they expanded to become one of the largest companies in Montana. They built many of the roads and bridges that are still in use across the Western US.

Todd Yu as a child being held on his Mother's hip

Todd Yu

Digital Media Director

My parents and I immigrated to Sacramento from the Cantonese region in southern China in the early 90s. Our American Dream began in Los Angeles. My parents were blue collar workers and became American citizens within 10 years in this country. Though my parents never learned English due to work hours and lack of education, I am very proud to be fluent in our native dialect, which is widely spoken within the Chinese diaspora in San Francisco.

Many Chinese immigrants from this region say "Your heart will not settle until you have crossed the Yellow River" – meaning infinite opportunities begin in the country of beauty (America).

Black and white photo of Vanessa Tomason's family and a current selfie with her Mother

Vanessa Tomason

Building Operations Manager

My grandfather (from the North Caucasus region of Dagestan) and grandmother (from Austrian-Pakistani descent) met in a refugee camp in Berlin, Germany. They were granted permission to move to Pakistan and my grandfather became a citizen after four years. My grandfather ended his career as a well-known Architect, Civil Engineer and Town Planner who designed, pro bono, the Minar-e-Pakistan which is a National Monument in Lahore.

Happy holidays from Rain the Growth Agency

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants