refugeeThings have slowed down a bit for the Altyara family this week after a very busy first week. They have been to the mosque for the regular Friday services and to the Kalamazoo Islamic Center on Saturday morning, to attend their second English Language tutoring session (ESL) tutored by a large group of People’s people. Volunteers have also been to their home and provided in home tutoring as well.

Kahled learned to clean the gutters in his new home and how to mow the lawn with a lawn mower no longer being used at church. Fatema has had several trips to Meijers with People’s volunteers. The whole family went with David Huisman, their Bethany caseworker, to apply for their Social Security Cards last Friday.

All of this has been made possible with the help of many dedicated talented volunteers.


How you can help

Items still needed: Dish detergent, laundry detergent and bleach are needed. If you are able to donate these items, please bring them to Church and leave them in the grey plastic bin marked DONATIONS FOR THE ALTYARA FAMILY. They also need good hair clippers, gardening tools, carpets/rugs for the basement rec room area, a dehumidifier for the basement, Smart TV (they have a small one now) video game systems, out-door furniture for the deck. Contact Marj Lightner 269-353-1311 if you are able to donate any of these items.

Make a donation: There are expenses that we hope we can help cover for the family as they are getting established. This is short term until Kahled finds employment.

English Language Tutors: we need more People’s people to volunteer to do individual – one to one English language tutoring at the Altyara family home. No experience is necessary – we will train you. Please contact Neena Marion 269-6857893 or Neena is filling in for Vicki Konzen who is away for a few weeks.

Helping with Transportation:  transportation is needed to attend English Language tutoring session at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center, go to medical appointments, job interviews, etc. If you can help by providing transportation please contact River Artz-Iffland at 269-254-7795 or

Join the Core Team as either Transportation Coordinator or Job Coordinator. River Artz is currently serving as Transportation Coordinator, but will consider switching to Job Coordinator if we can recruit someone to serve as Transportation Coordinator. If you are interested in joining the Core Team in either coordinator position, please contact Ann Feldmeier 269-720-1649 or via email

Help  plan social events for the Altyara family to meet our church members and other community members.  We need a committee to be formed to work on this. Please contact Ann Feldmeier 269-720-1649 or Sally Padley,  269-372-3943.

Below is information about each member of the Altyara family:

Father’s info: Kahled Altyara, age 50.
Mother’s info: Fatema Al Najar, age 41.
No. 1 son: Adham Tayara, age 21.
 No. 2 son: Molham Tayara, age 20.
 No 3 son: Moayyad Tayara, age 17.
Twins No. 4 & 5 sons: Omar Tayara and Abdullah Tayara, age 11.

The Altyara family has been assigned a Bethany case worker; David Huisman. He will be working with the family for the first three months. Our job as a co-sponsor is to help in any and all ways possible.

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