refugeePeople’s Church is next in-line to co-sponsor a refugee family this spring or summer. We will be co-sponsoring with Bethany Christian Services. We have formed a Core Team and Helper Team to prepare for the arrival of our family.  We hope that this project is embraced by the entire congregation; we will need many helpers!

Below is a list of some of the ways church members and others who would like to, can be of help. If you think you might be able to help in one (or more) of these areas, please contact Ann Feldmeier, feldtrow@aol.com, or Sally Padley, sallypadley@yahoo.com.

HELPING TO PREPARE FOR OUR FAMILY’S ARRIVAL

Helping to Set-up the Household: once we know that the family is arriving we will need to swing into “high gear.” Marj Lightner, skiporie@yahoo.com, 269-353-1311 has been busy gathering the household items they will need to begin their life in Kalamazoo and we are within reach of that goal. We still need sheets, blankets and comforters/bedspreads and a few other small odds and ends. Click here to sign up to donate items that are still needed. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/508054baaa82ba20-help

We are fundraising to purchase new mattresses and box springs. We will not know how many we will need to purchase until we know the number of people in our family. Please consider a donation to help facilitate purchasing mattresses and box springs. It is important to note that if we do not raise enough money to accomplish our goal of purchasing the mattresses and box springs that are needed, the family will have to pay for them out of their meager stipend that they are provided. And, of course, that means they may not have money for other pressing needs. You can make your check out to People’s Church and put Refugee in the memo line, and send it to the Church or you can donate online  via PayPal.

Helping to find Housing: Since we will not know until around two weeks before our family arrives that they are coming, we will need to scramble to find a suitable, affordable, and safe place for them to rent. Mary Tift,  martift@att.net, is currently  contacting landlords to find out their requirements for renting as well as potential availability. If you know of any suitable rentals in Kalamazoo or if you have connections that may be helpful, please contact Mary. Networking is going to be very helpful in this endeavor!

We may need Temporary Housing for our family if we are not able to find housing that is suitable, affordable, and safe right away. This has been the case for a couple of the arriving refugee families this past month. If you have the capacity and would be able to offer temporary housing if it is needed, please contact Ann Feldmeier, Sally Padley or Mary Tift.

Helping to Clean-up, Paint, and do Minor Repairs to prepare for move-in: Once we know that our family is arriving, and we have secured (with the help of Bethany) appropriate housing for them, we will need to mobilize a work crew to make sure their new home is in good shape before they arrive.

Helping on Move-in Day: Once we know the arrival date of our family, have secured housing and have cleaned it up and done any painting, or minor repairs we will set a moving date. We will need help with moving furniture and other household items. Having strong volunteers to help with this task will be very important!

Helping with Food Preparation: We will provide meals for our family for the first week or so as they get acclimated to their new home. Once we know what country they are from, we can focus on culturally appropriate food to prepare and provide.


HELPING ONCE THE FAMILY HAS ARRIVED

Friendship and Social : inviting our family to participate with your family in social events. Get to know the refugee family and form friendships.
Community Connections: help to learn about resources in our community and participate with them.
Transportation help: they will need transportation to English Language Classes, medical appointments, job interviews, etc.
English Tutoring help: working in conjunction with trained ESL teachers and tutors

For up-to-date information, we will be updating the church’s website for current developments and will announce our family’s arrival via the Friday News Blast as well as online. Please contact Ann or Sally at your earliest convenience if you can help and we will put you on our email list as well.

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