Our ERUUF Afghan Family Support Project is in its fourth month now, so here's a quick update, and a request for a few specific household donations. All your donations, material and financial, have helped us make incredible progress!
The current status of the three families we are helping is very good. We are in partnership with Church World Service (CWS), which is currently managing over 60 families of Afghan refugees in our area. Only a third of these families have co-sponsorship groups, like ours, with teams of volunteers, financial and other resources. CWS reminds us again and again of how grateful they are to ERUUF, and what a huge difference these co-sponsorship relationships make in the lives of the refugees. Unsponsored families struggle for sufficient funding and support to find stability. We are very grateful for the financial support so many of you have given to our efforts. If you are still interested in making financial contributions for refugees, please consider making a donation directly to Church World Service, at this link.
"Our" three families are settled in two well-furnished homes, with rent paid for six months. Supporting their progress toward self-sufficiency is our main goal, and there have been many accomplishments. All three of the men are working full-time, on the night shift. One has passed the written test for a driver's license and is learning to drive in America with their new, donated car. The three mothers were not literate in any language, but they are all getting lots of help learning English, and two of them can now write their names for the first time in their lives!
The first family of three that we started supporting arrived in October and will move soon to their own, larger apartment. Their new baby is due at the end of February, and we have compiled a short list of their needs. Please use this SignUp Genius online list to let us know if you can donate any of these items. Thanks in advance for considering this!
The other two families are living together in a home near Hope Valley Rd. The fathers are brothers, so there are four adults and nine cousins in the house! The kids are in school at Hope Valley Elementary and Githens Middle School. They are learning fast, ride bikes and play together in the cul-de-sac.
Our core team of hands-on volunteers consists of over 30 energetic people, many of whom are actively involved on a daily basis! Some of our activities include:
- tutoring ESL with kids and adults, daily
- taking everyone to medical appointments -- so many medical appointments!
- getting kids into school and supporting their learning
- helping the men find jobs
- driving the families to get necessities like groceries and halal meat
- helping set up bank accounts and teaching them how to use ATMs, online bank apps, and checks
- helping with bureaucracies--job paperwork, DMV, Social Security, food stamps, WIC, bank accounts, etc, etc etc!
These are our core team members who have been doing so much:
Bernadette Page, Bev Kawalec, Beverly Koester, Betsy LaForge, Cathy Kielar, Claudia Kaplan, Danielle B. Peloquin, Dianne Langona, Emily Feidelson, Jeff Tuson, Geri LaPlaca, Glenn Johnson, Jane Hewitt, Jeff Moe, Katie Griswold, Kirk Kitchin, Louise Peloquin, Laleh Rostami, Leila Keen, Leslie Zeldin, Lyn Mclean, Monique Peloquin Mueller, Nathan Berolzheimer, Sally Franz, Sarah Sanchez, Trish Barron, and Trisha Lester. Coordinators are Judy & Dennis McGrath, Audrey Green, and Peggy Schaeffer.
Knowing that our project is supported by a large community adds to the immense satisfaction we all get from doing this work. THANK YOU again! Questions? contact refugeejustice@eruuf.