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.

Hudson Marsh

Sewing blessings

Lifestyle | Every Good Gift sells crafts while aiming to teach young mothers job skills, responsibility, and Bible lessons
by Charissa Koh
Posted 8/27/20, 04:32 pm

One Wednesday in July, Jill Page chatted with three other women in the stuffy craft room of a church outside Philadelphia. Each woman wore a cloth mask and sat by herself at a table with a sewing machine and box of supplies. Over the whir of the machines and an electric fan, they talked about Houssei Bah’s plans to get married later that month and Cassandra Gruszka’s new job at UPS. Cassandra’s first shift was that night, and she was nervous. Page encouraged her with a Bible verse—Isaiah 26:3—and added, “Set your mind on God, and He will give you His peace.”

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Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski

Homeless population weathers COVID-19 surprisingly well

Compassion | The disease hasn’t affected the vulnerable group as much as expected
by Charissa Koh
Posted 8/26/20, 02:28 pm

Earlier this year, James Whitford, executive director of Watered Gardens homeless shelter, called the New York City Rescue Mission to learn how its leaders mitigated COVID-19’s spread. “I was very surprised ... to find they had only one positive case,” he said. “This was when New York City was exploding with cases.”

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Associated Press/Photo by Ashley Landis

Funding standoff leaves immigrants in limbo

Effective Compassion | Congress challenges immigration agency’s plans to furlough workers
by Charissa Koh
Posted 8/19/20, 02:08 pm

In 2000, Mohammad Esseck moved with his wife and 3-year-old son from South Africa to North Carolina for a teacher exchange program. The schools asked them to stay and continue teaching in the United States. The couple earned advanced degrees, had another child, and began building a life. In 2010, they applied for permanent residency, and earlier this year, Esseck, now teaching at a community college in Raleigh, began the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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