Former refugee pays it forward to those looking to make Minnesota home

The holiday season is a time of giving, and one Twin Cities man who came to America 20 years ago is paying it forward to new refugees making their home in the North Star state.

Mohamed "Elias" Dawid came to the United States decades ago as a refugee from Ethiopia. He's now helping sponsor other refugees fleeing war, famine and conflict in their home countries.

Dawid is part of Welcome Corps – a new U.S. government program allowing Americans to privately sponsor refugees from around the world. Minnesota-based Alight, a humanitarian relief nonprofit, was one of the organizations that helped support its launch.

"This is just the beginning and as much as we can, we will move forward, helping others doing the right thing," said Dawid.

Alight tells FOX 9 its organization has close to 200 sponsor groups total. The number includes people from Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia and others from all over the world.

Becoming a sponsor is a 90-day commitment. If you are interested in becoming one, visit Alight's website.