stay for good
your stay can help refugees
We know you can't stay forever, but we would like to invite you to stay for good. Now through the holidays (December 31 2023) Backland has partnered with Heal to help refugee families.
When you book a two or more night stay, we will donate 2% of the proceeds to Heal - A New Beginning for Refugees.
In addition, you will also receive a credit to our onsite restaurant based on the length of stay.
To take advantage of this offer and participate in helping refugees, book at least a 2-night stay before 12/31/2023 and enter promo code:
2 nights = $75 restaurant credit + 2% to Heal
3 nights = $115 restaurant credit + 2% to Heal
4+ nights = $150 restaurant credit + 2% to Heal
applies to new reservations only
credit must be used in the restaurant for lunch and/or dinner and is non-refundable, non-transferable
and not redeemable for cash or other merchandise. Unused credits expire at checkout.
Heal is a very small volunteer family-run 501(c)3 charity started in 2022 by Brooke and Spencer Cutler. To date they have helped settle five refugee families from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Venezuela. These refugees are fully vetted and approved by US Customs and Immigration.
The stories from these families are both heartbreaking and full of great hope. One family of 6 woke up to their town being bombed. After hiding in the basement for 3 weeks they narrowly escaped before their home and all their possessions were destroyed.
Another family tragically lost their husband/father in an attack as they fled to the US. All have had the homes and the lives they once knew taken away, leaving them no choice but to flee and seek safety in a distant and unfamiliar land.
The goal of Heal is to help refugee families travel to the US, and find the housing, transportation, work, and social support needed to become self-sufficient in their new home.
Ukrainian family arriving at airport with only 2 bags -all they had left. story below...
Why did we choose Heal?
Jeremy and Lizzi, the founders of Backland, appreciate the incredible struggle it is to start and operate a small business. A charity is no different and they have watched in awe as Lizzi's brother and sister-in-law (Brooke and Spencer) have started Heal.
On top of their day jobs and raising six children, Spencer and Brooke have spent countless hours and resources helping families in need. The stories of hope and the deep relationships that come from their work are truly inspiring.
Additionally, as a small volunteer, family-run charity they have little to no overhead. All of the donations go straight to helping families, rather than paying salaries, travel, or other foundation expenses, which is not the case for most larger organizations.
Want to help more?
If you are interested in donating to Heal directly, click the donate button link below to donate securely through PayPal and get a tax receipt.
Other inquiries? You can also reach out to Heal directly at email@example.com
Heal in the News
How Refugees' Lives Have Changed
Heal's First Ukrainian Family (photo above): This is the original email that Heal received last June from a Refugee family from Ukraine.
"I hope this email finds you well. My name is (name removed) and this is my family in the pictures including my wife and our two children. Until February 24 we lived happily in a bright and noisy seaside city Mariupol. At 5 in the morning on February 24 our life has changed forever. We spent 3 weeks in the basement of our house. On March 15, just the next day after my wife’s birthday, we could escape that nightmare. Driving non-stop for almost 4 days, we reached Turkey. It is there we learned that a bombshell hit our house and we lost everything.
But we have our lives and knowledge with us. Now we are ready to start a new page and earn everything again. I am a logistics manager who worked for (removed) in Europe. My wife is a nurse and a philologist (Italian Language and Literature). I am also a professional sports couch and nutritionist. All we need is just a chance for a new life. Bless you! So, I hope our message will echo in your hearts.
This family had friends who were killed by bombs during the Russian attack, and their 6 year old was scared of any loud noises for a long time after they arrived. One of his best friends (his son’s godfather) left the basement where his family was sheltering to get them food and never came home. He was hit by a bomb in the marketplace.
They arrived here with 2 suitcases…all they have left…yet they are kind and positive and grateful and always trying to help.
They texted this to Brooke a couple of weeks after they arrived:
I tell everyone every day, it's just some kind of miracle that we met you and all your good friends! We love you very much and thank you every day!
An Afghan Family (Names Changed)
Written by Brooke from Heal:
Damsa was never allowed to attend school in Afghanistan because of Taliban rule, so she now knows more about how to read and write in English than she has ever learned in Dari, and she was never taught math.
When we play Uno with their family, her husband or children have to tell her what card to play because she does not know. Yet she has memorized countless recipes, and she makes some of the best food I have eaten.
I asked them what Damsa’s life was like in Afghanistan, and they said, ‘She was always home!’ Damsa was never allowed to leave the house without Amir accompanying her, and even then she only occasionally went to the market or to visit family members.
Now that she is in America, she is working hard in housekeeping at the Drury Hotel in Milwaukee to help support their family, and she is taking English classes in the evening at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Amir is not the typical Afghan husband culturally. He is always trying to include Damsa in everything he does and everywhere he goes. He constantly tells me that she is the Master and he is the student in the kitchen. He helps chop vegetables while she cooks, and I have come to their home to find him cleaning alongside her. He tells me all the time how excited he was when he met her (for the first time!) on their wedding day. He says Damsa is the very best. The Ahmadis are so full of fun and laughter and joy! We can’t be around them enough.
Their 13 year old daughter spent most of her time in refugee camps trying to learn English because she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She recently asked me if I could enroll her in English classes at MATC in the evenings after school, so that she can improve her English faster and do better in school. Amir told us that if they had stayed in Afghanistan, she would no longer be going to school because the Taliban would not allow her to go. He told me that they wanted to come to the United States, so that his daughters could receive an education.
Damsa’s brother was taken by the Taliban because of her family’s work for human rights in Afghanistan, and we are hoping to raise enough money to bring her brothers and their families to America, so that they can be safe.
We were sitting with a big group of our Afghan friends the other night, and we asked them what they love best about living in America. They gave various answers like Lake Michigan, and being safe from the Taliban, and then Amir looked right at me and said, “The people. What we love best is the people in America. They are so kind.”