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Refugees Who Fled From War-Torn Countries Get Helping Hand In Colorado

By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) - Volunteers and organizers came together over the weekend to help Colorado refugees in need. It's the third year the Denver Health Foundation has put on this event.

"I'm so happy, I can't explain it, how much I'm happy," said 15-year-old Elysee Chirez.

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"I get many things like backpack, pants, shoes, a jacket and stuff for school," she said.

For Elysee and her family, this event is like nothing they have ever experienced. They are refugees from war-torn countries in Africa. There they were fighting for their lives, now in America Elysee can fight for her dreams.

"Actually I want to be a doctor," she said.

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"They have been through some of the most unspeakable hardships that you can imagine," said Robin Engleberg, she is the Program Manager for the Denver Health Foundation. She said she put out the call for help and the cash donations came pouring in.

She was able to turn those dollars into items for the refugees, who are also patients at Denver Health.

"It's very hard to be responsible for the health care of a family if they're going to get frostbite walking to the bus stop," she said.

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A refugee herself from Sudan, Fatima Daak was brought into the country when she was just two years old, she is now a volunteer.

"Seeing that smile on their face is just amazing and seeing them happy and showing their parents. I think every child is like, 'Look what I got' so I think that's just amazing, having that experience," said Daak.

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"Here my life became really, really beautiful for now, so we want to say thank you for you guys, thank you so much for everything you give to us," said Elysee.

If you would like to donate to the cause, you can do so at

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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