In December 2021, Tabiatha and her husband Scott learned that a refugee resettlement organization in Colorado desperately needed a volunteer family to temporarily host a recently immigrated Afghan family. The family included a mother, father, a 4-year-old girl as well as a 2-year-old boy with autism, which made it difficult to place the family in a hotel setting.
With just one day’s notice, Tabiatha and Scott welcomed the family into their home, which happened to be festively lit with holiday lights. The family, unfamiliar with this custom, was initially taken aback by the brightness and the decorations. When they learned more about this holiday tradition, though, they joined in the spirit of celebration and even exchanged gifts with the Paquettes on Christmas Day, presenting Tabiatha with a traditional Afghan outfit. The cultural exchange began to lay a foundation for a deeper relationship that would develop over time.
“In just a few days, we were in love with the family and the children,” Tabiatha recalled. The daughter was especially enamored with Tabiatha and was quite intrigued by her use of videoconferencing. More than once she decided to crash a Zoom meeting in progress, to the delight of other Graebel employees who got to meet her.
Their new situation was a huge relief for the family. Tabiatha recalled one evening during the first week when everything seemed to sink in all at once with the mother as she broke down crying, saying, “We’re safe, we’re safe.”
It's no wonder she felt that way. Over time, the family opened up about their former life in Afghanistan – the dangers they faced, their remarkable journey from Afghanistan and their hopes and dreams for a new life in the U.S.
After an eight week stay, Tabiatha and Scott drove the family to their permanent home in early 2022, where they were met by the volunteers who helped prepare their apartment. The family was overcome by emotion and wept with joy and relief and were joined by Tabiatha and Scott and all the other volunteers that made it happen for a warm welcome to their new home.
Given the opportunity, Tabiatha said she and Scott would volunteer again to help an immigrant family in a similar situation. “I’m proud that we stepped out of our comfort zone just a bit to help this wonderful family. But we got so much out of the experience, too. For one thing, we were reminded that we take a lot of things in our daily lives for granted.”
Tabiatha continues to text with the mother of the immigrant family, and she and Scott visit them every few weeks to check in and help them in any way they can.
Getting to Know Tabiatha
As a 17-year Graebel employee, Tabiatha is as dedicated and passionate about her role as a Director of Account Management as she is about helping others less fortunate than her. She exemplifies what our Caring Deeply brand promise and Truth, Love and Integrity values are all about. Serving in various roles during her nearly two-decade career in global mobility has taught her how important helping people and providing exceptional experience are to her clients and their employees.
Tabiatha and Scott are now empty-nesters, except for their Newfoundland dog. When they’re not hard at work, they enjoy spending time at Colorado’s lakes and participating in the activities of their local Newfoundland dog group and the Colorado AMC car club, where they serve as board members.