Grant Thornton names WeaveTales its new Purple Paladin


Emerging nonprofit strives to build more inclusive communities by helping refugees tell their stories



CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP, one of America’s largest accounting, tax and advisory firms, has named WeaveTales to its Purple Paladin program, which helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from “start-up to unstoppable.” As part of the program, Grant Thornton provides funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping nonprofits raise awareness of their work and mission.


Founded in 2019, WeaveTales shines a light on the often-unheard individual experiences of refugees. Through comprehensive programming that includes writing workshops and public speaking initiatives, the organization helps refugees of all kinds share their stories via books, exhibits, films and other channels. In doing so, WeaveTales strives to eliminate bias and misconceptions while supporting efforts for global peace.


Thus far, WeaveTales has helped more than 300 refugees nationwide share their stories. Refugees consistently report that their WeaveTales experience has helped them heal from past trauma, and they often emphasize how crucial it is to have a supportive community of people willing to listen.


“By helping refugees tell their stories, WeaveTales is elevating a complex and vital issue critical to creating an equitable society,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “This incredible organization is fostering communities for refugees from across the world — and cultivating a more welcoming home right here in America. Grant Thornton is truly honored to be a part of that work.”




“Every time you listen to someone’s story, it changes you.”


In 2010, WeaveTales founder Basma Alawee was forced to flee Iraq: the only home she’d ever known. Amidst death threats and a seemingly endless barrage of bombings, Alawee left behind family, friends, and a successful career as an engineer. She, her husband, and their young child settled in a Florida community that provided safety, but also new challenges.


As a woman, a Muslim, a non-native-English speaker and a refugee, Alawee faced discrimination on a regular basis. Further, she and her family struggled to adjust to life in a new country. Separated from her tight-knit community, Alawee focused on volunteering and began sharing her own experience. The reaction she received inspired her to create WeaveTales and help other refugees share their experiences.


“Every time you listen to someone’s story, it changes you,” Alawee said. “Every story is different and deserves to be heard. Every story is a step in bridging our divides and bringing us closer to one another. We are incredibly grateful that Grant Thornton shares and supports this vision.”


Alawee adds that her organization is proof of the power of storytelling. Through WeaveTales and the perspectives they share, she strives to create more compassion, understanding and inclusivity across the country.


“For many, the refugee crisis can feel too large or too divisive to talk about,” Alawee added. “That’s why it’s important to make the topic feel personal. At WeaveTales, we focus on the experiences of individual refuges and on connecting neighbors within local communities.”


To learn more about WeaveTales, visit To donate, visit


WeaveTales joins ten other nonprofits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins: Warrior Reunion Foundation, Go Team Therapy Dogs, Find Your Anchor, Foster Nation, Hope in a Box, Weird Enough Productions, Invisible Hands Deliver, Pal Experiences, Sneakers for Soldiers and Coming Up Rosies.

  • Warrior Reunion Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that reconnects combat veterans and their families via life-changing reunion experiences. All events are provided at no cost to those who attend. To learn more, visit:
  • Go Team Therapy Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that produces well-trained therapy dogs and places them at disaster sites, hospitals, and other places where they can offer comfort and care. To learn more, visit:
  • Find Your Anchor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on suicide prevention. To help people who are struggling to find hope, the organization creates and distributes boxes of curated items known as “anchors.” Each box includes a deck of cards titled “52+ Reasons to Live,” a list of suicide prevention resources and posters with hopeful messaging. To learn more, visit:
  • Foster Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps former foster youth overcome the challenges associated with ‘aging out’ of the foster-care system. To learn more, visit:
  • Hope in a Box is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides educators with literature, detailed curriculums and coaching to improve classroom environments for LGBTQ+ students. To learn more, visit:
  • Weird Enough Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops free, interactive online content designed to combat media misrepresentations of minority communities. The organization is best known for its hallmark comic book series, “The UnCommons.” To learn more, visit:
  • Invisible Hands Deliver is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that taps more than 12,000 volunteers to deliver groceries, prescriptions and other necessities to people vulnerable to COVID-19 — including the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised. To learn more, visit:
  • Pal Experiences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people with non-visible disabilities — such as autism — have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues and sporting events. To learn more, visit:
  • Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides properly-fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit:
  • Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides “smile kits” to hospitals so children — particularly those suffering from hair loss — can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit:

Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. Grant Thornton and its professionals have donated more than $600,000 for Purple Paladin nonprofits, and more than 450 Grant Thornton professionals have volunteered support to the firm’s Purple Paladins.


To learn more about Purple Paladins, or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website:



About Grant Thornton LLP

Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is one of America’s largest providers of audit and assurance, tax and advisory services — and the U.S. member firm of the Grant Thornton International Ltd global network. We go beyond the expected to make business more personal and build trust into every result. With revenues of $2.4 billion for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2023, and almost 50 offices nationwide, Grant Thornton is a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers who value relationships and are ready to help organizations of all sizes and industries create more confident futures. Because, for us, how we serve matters as much as what we do. 


“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.




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