True, there are less refugees arriving to the US in 2020. So why not make a bigger impact on those who do arrive? The most important thing that we can do here in Phoenix to help the worldwide refugee crisis is to make certain that refugees feel welcomed and connected to community. Think globally, and please act locally.
We expect to expand our 2020 Welcome WAVEs (clothing closet), computer presence and bike support. We also are becoming more involved with Ethnic Community Based Organizations so as to better support needs of specific communities. We’ll partner with the resettlement agencies on their initiatives for refugees and unaccompanied refugee who minors leave foster care. Our job development program will grow. Computers, TVs, bikes, stockpots, kitchen tables and soccer balls will be included on every welcome, all tools to connect refugees to community and foster self sufficiency. And we’ll continue our support of the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic with our Mother’s Day baby item drive.
So how can you help? One immediate need is for volunteers to make initial visits to the home during the week to begin the welcome and assess refugee family needs. We also need leads to organize our Saturday volunteers who welcome refugees and place household items. Interested? Send a note to
. Also, please take advantage of the AZ Tax Credit described in the accompanying article. Your contributions will be well shared and your impact enormous.
In closing, I want to thank the many people who made 2019 such a magical year. Far too many to mention are the DES staffers, resettlement agencies, faith based entities, schools, universities, clubs, former refugees, companies, philanthropies, donors, board members, leads, volunteers, event planners, retirees, couples, individuals, friends, and families who shared their time, talent and possessions, underscoring our erstwhile belief - - We are all a part of the welcome!