Bonnie Fraser, Cathy Kim, Cheryl Thomas and Gill Hamilton co-sponsored an Afghan refugee family of 11 (9 children) from U.S. arrival in May through August, and it was a truly wonderful experience. We are now recruiting for a new team. The family we were matched with by Lutheran Social Services were wonderful – kind, helpful, incredibly appreciative, eager to learn. We did many things with them – took them shopping as they did not have a car, got them ID cards at the Motor Vehicle Bureau, got them 2 old bicycles so the oldest son and father could bicycle to work at a furniture-building factory (5 am to get there, 2 pm in the Arizona summer to get home…), found donated furniture, helped them get phones and bank account, gave finance lessons, taught them as much English as we could, got the 19yo son and parents registered for ESL at Rio Salado Community College, helped them understanding U.S. schools, introduced them to the library, helped oldest son and father to finally get drivers’ licenses and an old car and insurance. I have honestly never had such a rewarding volunteering experience – because you know that what you are doing will bear fruit and give them wings, and with this family at least, they will fly.
We are now recruiting for a new team – or teams – of 5 people, to sponsor a family from November through January – the commitment is for only 3 months. Lutheran has so many families waiting for co-sponsors – it would be great if we could get two teams – they brought in 100 families in the past 2 weeks. This requires no money. Each member of the team will need to be able to spend about 2 hours a week or 4 hours every other week, times flexible.
We asked two of the older children to write a comment to you of how the experience was for them:
Zahra: With your help, we were able to adapt to the new environment and start a normal life. Thank you for all the hard work you did.
Emraan: As an immigrant, starting a life in a new country and environment is really hard and challenging, thank you for being with us during this time and helping us build a new life. Your help has been really helpful without your help we would have definitely faced many problems and challenges, we will not forget you as a part of our good memories and I appreciate all the members of your group. Thank you very much.
If you are interested, please contact us.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .