Refugee Assistance, Update

An Update from the Shomrei Refugee Assistance Group

Two items of importance for your consideration:

  • Several of our Family Team members this week met the two Afghan brothers whom we have “adopted” to help them acclimate to life in the United States. The brothers are friendly, charming, and excited about starting the next chapters in their resettlement: school for the 14-year-old and work for the 23-year-old, once they receive the necessary government documents.  So far, our team has helped them get oriented in their new neighborhood in Elizabeth, assisted them in setting up and using their bank account, tutored the 14-year-old (via Zoom) in English and Math, and delivered (or will soon deliver) the items that our group has so generously donated (including parkas, winter boots, winter socks, a fleece jacket and a hoodie, soccer shoes, sneakers, and a bicycle).  We have updated the Amazon Wish List and the SignUpGenius List to reflect the things we have recently learned they still need.  Please be as generous as you possibly can.  The brothers are very independent, but extremely thankful for all of the assistance that we have provided.
  • Thanks to our members’ financial contributions, we have started to provide to other newly resettled families needed household items that are not eligible to be bought with government benefit funds.  This week we were able to purchase 10 large bottles of shampoo and 72 rolls of paper towels.  The items were delivered to the Westfield Fun Club, which distributes them to a rotating group of 10-20 families on a weekly basis. We also expect to start ordering a week’s supply of food for one new family each week, to tide them over until their government benefits begin.

Our purchases of both the household items and the food are financed by our members’ financial contributions.  To help continue these initiatives, one of our member families has contributed $1,800 with the challenge to the rest of the group to match that amount.  So far, we have met about 10% of the challenge.  If you would like to help us reach our goal, you can make a contribution online to Shomrei’s Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, Refugee Assistance, or by check made out to “Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund” and sent to Congregation Shomrei Emunah, 67 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042, designating “Refugee Assistance” in the check’s memo line.

Thank you for your assistance.

Shabbat Shalom,
Judith, Mike, and Andy

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