Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @CharissaKoh.

Photo by Kenneth K. Lam/Genesis

Overflow of love

Hope Awards | The Overflow Café provides a place for Christians to build friendships and make disciples. But keeping the shop open is a struggle
by Charissa Koh
Posted 9/10/20, 11:23 am

Dudley and Anna Parr sat inside the Overflow Café in Cambridge, Md. The small café was empty except for two workers and a lone customer, Eddie. Rain drizzled down its large windows. Dudley’s cell phone rang: “Hey, bud, what’s up?” He listened for a moment, then asked, “What do you need?” Another pause. “Call the Salvation Army directly and ask them.” He hung up and looked at his wife. A man wanted to borrow a dress shirt, but Dudley is the wrong size. 

Such calls are routine for Dudley Parr. 

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Photo by Amanda Herbert

“It’s just a simple friendship”

Hope Awards | Refugee Hope Partners seeks to form relationships with refugees and help them become self-sufficient
by Charissa Koh
Posted 9/10/20, 11:14 am

Refugee Hope Partners occupies a small rectangular building in the middle of an apartment complex in Raleigh, N.C. Shaded by tall pines and a red awning over the door, the building doubles as a community center and one-room schoolhouse. Inside, volunteer Mary Maierhofer explains areas and perimeters to a class of seven students. She points to a shape on the classroom whiteboard and asks if the students think its area is greater or less than another shape.

When no one answers, Maierhofer says, “Just take a guess. It’s OK if you’re wrong.”

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Associated Press/Photo by Elliot Spagat

Waiting, not working

Compassion | A new immigration rule puts asylum-seekers’ job searches on hold
by Charissa Koh
Posted 9/09/20, 05:16 pm

A single mom with two small children fled Guatemala after her politically connected former boss repeatedly raped her, made her have an abortion, and continued threatening her. She trekked to the U.S.-Mexico border and applied for asylum on April 3, according to a federal lawsuit.

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