P.C. is one of several people Bathin has met through her natural gift for networking. She's relentless, never missing an opportunity to make a connection and not shy about asking for help. The Rangers is an official nonprofit, and while one of the Americans she's recruited to serve on the board works on preparing applications for two sub-grants — one for youth activities such as dance and soccer, and another for leadership training for the tribal heads — Bathin works on making miracles with no money.

Three days before Christmas, she and Hae stopped by a Denver police station to pick up two trash bags full of toys. The donation was coordinated by a community resource officer in the gang unit. He and Bathin connected after she attended a forum hosted by Mayor Hancock, at which she spoke on behalf of a group of refugees about their worries that the youth may turn to violence.

The week before found her sitting around a kitchen table in upscale Highlands Ranch, discussing the possibility of opening an Asian health clinic with a retired banker, a pastor, the CEO of the Asian Pacific Development Center and a nephrologist. All have Asian roots, and they called on Bathin to learn more about the health problems faced by the recent refugees from Burma. "The big issue I see is we have refugee go to the clinic and then they refer to a specialist, but they don't go because they scared," she told them.

Drucie Bathin helps refugees from Burma feel at home.
Anthony Camera
Drucie Bathin helps refugees from Burma feel at home.
Kit Taintor is the director of the Colorado African Organization.
Anthony Camera
Kit Taintor is the director of the Colorado African Organization.

A week before that, she got word that three refugee families had run out of food. Their eight months' worth of food stamps had expired, and they either didn't understand that they had to reapply or didn't have the English skills to do the paperwork. So Bathin took that on, sorting through the refugees' ID cards, pay stubs and utility bills for the required information, and meticulously filling in each bubble and line. In the meantime, she called Jack Johnson, a retired schoolteacher from Elizabeth and the head of the Colorado Burma Roundtable Network, a Christian organization that works with refugees here and overseas.

"Hiiiiiii, Jack," Bathin said into the phone, smiling. "It's Drucie."

She explained that the families were hungry. "Do you have any Santa Claus that want to give away the food?" she asked. A member of one of the families, a single mother of three who'd recently returned from a seasonal job picking apples in Delta to find that her food stamps had expired, was sitting in her office. "She is not naughty," Bathin added.

Johnson's organization had a spare $300, and he drove to Denver pledging to donate up to $100 to each family. A few hours later, Johnson, Bathin, Hae and members of all three families were at King Soopers. As the two mothers and one father piled oranges, potatoes, jumbo crates of eggs and huge sides of pork into their carts, Johnson added the prices on his cell phone's calculator. Bathin translated the amounts, doing the math so the families would know how much more they could spend. It was a big to-do for a simple shopping trip, but something Johnson would be unable to do on his own.

In the checkout line, an overwhelmed cashier held up a plastic produce bag. "These are organic cucumbers," he said to Johnson. "Is that okay?"

"It's okay for now," Johnson said. "Next time," he told Bathin, "get regular cucumbers."

"They don't know the difference," she said. "I will have to teach them."

For now, at least, it's what she does best.

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9 comments
onegoodpup
onegoodpup

  • Hello My name is Mike we are meeting with 5 Burmese families and are in need of anyone who can  translate for us. This would be a great help much more that I can explain right now. Please help us Mike 3039939798 

seeseh
seeseh

Bathin is not working for the Burmese refugee , she only works for Karen, you only cover for Karen , not for the whole Burmese.. Be careful please!!!!

Payton_vege
Payton_vege

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Tom Haywood
Tom Haywood

Great article, thanks Melanie for exposing the tremendous work Drucie Bathin does to help others and for educating the public on the refugees from Burma. Many Americans are not aware of America’s efforts on opening our doors to refugees. I invite you and others to visit www.nickelcitysmiler.com to view more about the challenges and the determination of the Karen people that now live in the US strive for a better life.

Mark Roberts
Mark Roberts

I Went to Viet Nam 3 times I have watched as those people came here much in the same way. If they stayed they would be in prison or dead. It is not going to be easy but they can make it better. They have a chance, and these are the people that end up making the best Americans. They will do whatever it takes and they are not like the lazy Americans born in this country and think it should be free. These are proud people and although things are bad now it will not stay that way. Welcome just be careful of those that say they want to help.

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Pu Phuut
Pu Phuut

Helping people in need is the most prestigious reward that men can to give. Some people say that " help me to help you" which somehow demands to get back something for helping. However, when Jesus was on earth to help people, he never say " help me to help you" but helped them anyway. Even if they can not help you to help them, just help them. The reward of helping is not available on earth but in heaven.

 
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