Welcoming Strangers: Co-Sponsoring a Refugee Family

It’s official: Bethany is teaming up with Pilgrim Lutheran to extend hospitality to a refugee family. At the time of this writing, we don’t know who the family is, where they are from, or how many they are! But given that we are quite a large group, we are requesting that RefugeeOne match us with a large family. As a team, we’ll be able to provide tutoring, English language help, job search mentoring, and many other kinds of help that RefugeeOne will train us for and guide us in providing.

Beyond the request for a large family, we are asking only that RefugeeOne pair us where there is need. Because of a sharp, overall reduction in refugees this year, we will be working with a family who has already been here for three months but could use additional support. (I mean, do you think you could get settled in a new country/language/school/job in 3 months? I know I couldn’t!)

To that end, we will be raising, with Pilgrim Lutheran, a total of $6000 through crowdsourcing and fundraisers. Once we have $2000 raised, we will be paired with a family. There are many ways to help. First: save the date for an April 30th fundraiser after church. We’re imagining something like a chili cook-off and dessert bake off: vote with your dollars! It’ll be fun and easy to invite friends to. Secondly, when our Go Fund Me fundraiser launches, you can share it on social media or, if you’re more of an email kind of person, send an email to friends and family who might want to be involved.

RefugeeOne is the largest resettlement agency in Illinois and like all resettlement agencies, contracts with the U.S. government to do this work. Along with about 400 volunteers, the organization resettles about 2,500 people each year. We’re pleased to partner with them, with Pilgrim, and likely with other folks like the Ravenswood and Montessori schools. On Sunday, March 12th, at 12:15, we’ll be holding a meeting for organizing next steps at Pilgrim.