KNOXVILLE (Nov. 2019) “In Her Threads” is a collection of short stories that portray the cultural struggles and the pure will to survive that has driven countless refugees to take on the challenge and hope of a better life in an unknown world; America.
In her book, Kidd shares the fulfillment and joy she experienced from helping just one refugee, which was the inspiration for her book.
That experience also led Kidd to start a non-profit organization, The Center for English, which helps refugees to transition to a way of life that is foreign to them in every way.
Kidd will be hosting a book signing this Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11 am to 1 pm at Barnes and Noble Books at Suburban Plaza 8029, Kingston Pike, in West Knoxville; phone 865-670-0773. All proceeds from book sales go to support The Center for English.
“I have had my share of sorrows just like everyone else, but I found healing by just ‘jumping in’ to help one refugee. Now, I am part of a wonderful, loving non-profit group, The Center for English, which helps hundreds. The needs of refugees are overwhelming. In many ways, they are similar to my special needs daughter. They cannot read, write or speak English clearly enough to be understood without help. Refugees need help with everything.
Our clothing is different from theirs. our food is different, our laws are different, and our way of life is different, but yet they come for a chance to simply be alive. Many have never been inside a grocery store and most have never lived in a brick and mortar home. They need help with the most basic daily tasks and if left on their own, they would simply be lost.
When you just jump in, it may not go smoothly at first. But with patience, you will be rewarded with joy and happiness for yourself and others.
I was privileged to be part of a celebration at Tyson-McGhee Airport when a young girl from Nigeria, who had been rescued from sex-traffickers, was reunited with her family. The family had prayed for many years for her return. It is one of my greatest memories to be able to witness the fulfillment of that prayer.
The benefits to human-kind of helping one refugee have led to lifelong friendships with many. I have laughed with them, danced with them, and sang with them. I have been invited to their church services, to weddings, and seated as an honored guest at special dinners. Although I didn’t understand the language spoken, I am welcomed and understand a language we all can speak; the language of love and pure happiness.
I hope to encourage all of us to just jump in when you are presented with an opportunity to help someone.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deni Kidd was born in America but grew up in North Africa where her father worked in the oil fields. She learned to appreciate diverse cultures and different customs at an early age. Deni returned to America to attend college and eventually settled in East Tennessee.
She and her husband Daniel have five children and many grandchildren. Deni has worked as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner, a therapist using art as therapy, and a youth specialist.
Throughout her life, Deni has been a fierce advocate for the less fortunate. For the past ten years, she has advocated against human trafficking. Kidd has worked to help victims and refugees who are trying to assimilate to America.
She is a founding member and Chairman of The Center for English where she teaches English and also helps to provide basic necessities of food, clothing, household items, soap, toothpaste, etc., to the refugees who come to America with, literally, nothing but the clothes on their backs. Deni’s work also fulfills the human need of acceptance, friendship, hope, laughter, and love, which is priceless and requires someone to jump in.