We miss you! It’s so difficult to social distance from people with whom we feel so close...you! Our body clocks tell us that weekdays are for sorting/packing and Saturdays are for welcoming refugees. We’ll have to wait but we will unite again. Until then, know you are deeply missed. 

COVID-19

So what have we been up to and what awaits? Well, we focused first on safety, shutting the warehouse to volunteers and donated items in early March. Knowing there were a few families who were newly arrived in March to Phoenix, we gathered a small crew and did some “hands-free” welcomes, sharing furniture and other resources but avoiding handshakes and hugs. On each visit, we also shared toiletry kits, cleaning kits and, believe it or not, toilet paper. 

PCs FOR REFUGEES

We also continue to work with our brilliant and caring partner, PCs for Refugees, to share computers with refugee families who otherwise would be unable to stay current regarding important COVID-19 information, attend on-line schooling or keep up with the wellbeing of loved ones around the world. The computers have also been a life line to the many refugees who are suddenly out of work and needing to search and apply for new jobs. (We will need to replenish computer inventory. Please put aside your excess computers and accessories to share when we reopen for donations.)
SHARE A MEAL WITH A REFUGEE FAMILY

We introduced a program to encourage our community to share meals with refugee families. No, not physically. Virtually. During difficult times, the most vulnerable people, refugees included, suffer most. Local refugee families find themselves suddenly out of work at a time when they were getting traction and establishing themselves in their new land. Without income, food is scarce. The Welcome To America Project is collecting $20 gift cards from Food City and Walmart, two stores near refugee apartments, to share with refugee families to supplement meals. We cannot dine physically with the families, but we can lift spirits and make certain families are fed for a day. If you’d like to share a meal with a refugee family, click here to donate online (please note your donation is to 'Share a Meal') or send Food City or Walmart gift cards to: The Welcome to America Project, 1711 W. University Dr. #158, Tempe, AZ 85281.
THE FUTURE

As to the future, we expect that there will be few incoming refugees in the next months however the needs of those already here have increased. We are partnering with the resettlement agencies and school districts to develop unique ways for refugees to regain traction towards their self sufficiency. Expect many volunteer opportunities - clothing closets, bike nights, refugee apartment relocations, on-site clothing closet set-ups, item drives, computer distribution - where we will help refugees to feel welcome and safe. Rest well volunteers. You will be needed!

BIKES 

With our partner, Phantom Cyclist, we expect quite a few bike nights, designed to ready bikes that we will share with Refugees. Bikes, as we like to say, represent freedom for the newly freed as bike transportation allows for a wider range of employment and educational opportunities.
DONATIONS

We’ve had lots of inquiries about donating items. It seems everyone is doing some form of decluttering. While we cannot take things now, we certainly are in need of bikes, pcs/accessories, clothes, etc. Please put things aside in your newly cleaned garage and you can share them with us when restrictions fade. 

SEE YOU SOON . . .

What is most important to know is that we will have plenty of work to do and will need volunteers once restrictions are lifted. Until then, we will impact where we can and like the rest of you, do everything to stay safe and keep others safe.

Yes, we are all a part of the welcome. And we soon hope to be welcoming you!

Mike Sullivan
Agency Director
1711 W. University Dr. #158, Tempe, AZ 85281
602-490-0088