Finding a Friend in Southern California

Miry’s List founder Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar, right, and Shir Wakili in Westminster, Calif. on March 14, 2017.

The Wakili family immigrated to the U.S. in January. They were refugees from their home country of Afghanistan. After spending their first night in America at a motel, the family of seven moved into a one-bedroom apartment … with no beds. That’s where Miry’s List came in.

Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar founded Miry’s List in July of 2016. The organization helps refugee families like the Wakilis get necessities: food, clothing, shampoo and, in the case of the Wakilis, beds. Miry’s list serves more than 80 families in the greater Los Angeles area. “I think it’s the first time in my life I see … [someone] so kind … so good,” says Shir Wakili, the patriarch of the family. “I have a best friend by the name of Miry.”