One Man and a Truck: Ryan Troyer

Unloading the truck.

Unloading the truck.

He's an expert at assembling these things.

Ryan puts a handmade donated quilt on a client's new bed.

Ryan puts a handmade donated quilt on a client’s new bed.

Photos by Amy S.Z.

Photos by Amy S.Z.

Ryan Troyer’s moving service is not a typical one. Instead of driving a vehicle with a clever title emblazoned on the side (Hernia Movers: You Call–We Haul, or the like), Ryan’s in a plain white truck. Instead of a plethora of fellow movers, he’s the only staff person for the job. And instead of a busy summer moving season, Ryan is hauling consistently all year, whether it’s 100 above or 10 below.

Ryan is the full-time moving guy for the Refugee & Immigration Center. His ‘customers’ new to Sioux Falls are not people originally from California or Tennessee, but people from Eritrea, Nepal, or Iraq—refugees who have fled war and persecution and are starting a new life in the U.S.“Most refugees are grateful to us for helping them,” he says. “They’re eager to be self-sufficient—to find jobs and start living in the U.S.”

This gratefulness, Ryan has discovered, is often expressed through ethnic cuisine:

“I like it when the clients feed me,” Ryan says. “If something is too spicy, I put tons of rice with it and then it’s fine.”

Ryan first moved to Sioux Falls from his hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania for a year-long service term with Mennonite Voluntary Service. After his service, he was hired on and has now been at LSS for about 5 1/2 years.

While he enjoys working at LSS Refugee & Immigration Center, it’s not without its challenges. Last year over 400 refugee clients were new to Sioux Falls, many of whom needed their homes to be filled with all kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom items.  The families’ arrivals are not always spread out evenly either—Ryan has set up complete households for a family of 9, a family of 5, and a family of 3 all in one day.

But Ryan has his work figured out: “I have a pretty fast system of getting everything at K-Mart,” he says. “Most of the staff there know me.”

His time in Sioux Falls, while filled mostly with working for the good of refugees, has also benefitted his personal life. Ryan met a young woman at church and just got married last fall.

His thoughts on married life? “It’s excellent,” he says with a smile.

If you would like to donate household items to save on new refugee families’ K-Mart expenditures, contact LSS Refugee & Immigration at (605) 731-2000. LSS can provide free pick up for large donations within Sioux Falls.

Post by Amy S.Z.

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