Who We Are

We started as a group of dedicated volunteers, each on a distinctly unique journey.

Kathryn Polk: 

Kathryn Polk

Kathryn Polk first connected with local refugees through Interfaith Refugee Ministry Wilmington (IRMW), during its early inception in 2011, as a volunteer ESL tutor and classroom teacher. After working with refugees for 5 years as a weekly volunteer teacher, Kathryn became employed with IRMW in 2015 as the Employment and Resource Developer. She employed over 87 refugees in less than a year, and managed the self-sufficiency Match Grant program with refugee clients. During her employment at IRMW, Kathryn also served as the volunteer and donations coordinator which included donor database management. Kathryn served time on the Advisory Council for IRMW in 2017, until the organization began downsizing the office, and showed signs of shutting down in the near future.

To compensate for dwindling refugee resettlement services available in Wilmington, Kathryn Polk along with a team of dedicated volunteers from the former Advisory Council (AC) at IRMW started a new resettlement support [nonprofit] organization to assist refugees in town.

Kathryn has helped provide employment and case management services to resettling refugees from Burma, Iraq, Colombia, Ethiopia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, & Burundi. She is experienced with marketing and communications, nonprofit and community event planning, sponsorship recruitment, and fundraising.

As a grassroots organization, Kathryn manages a half dozen volunteer staff who operate our public relations, community outreach, and direct client services.

Leah Gallagher-Hodgson & Trish Giannini

When the global refguee crisis errupted after the end of the Afghanistan War in 2021, and then the War in Ukraine eruppted and exacerbated the situation, Global Connections board members Leah Gallagher-Hodgson and Trish Giannini stepped up to expand our capacity. Leah’s background as a social worker and Trish’s experience as a police officer and building inspector bring great leadership to our team. Leah serves as a “volunteer staff” director, and Trish also helps with GC programming.

Perry Heyer

Saw Wai Lin Tun

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn