Lisa Moy, Doreen Ewert, and I are members of the Interfaith Welcome – Bay Area Refugee Support Group.(Facebook: InterfaithWelcome.org). We have been meeting for about a year and we have 10 active members representing organizations in the greater Bay Area.
Over this year, we have:
- Packed Welcome kits for the IRC to present to new refugee families. This activity will continue. Each kit is $450.
- Arranged for our first teddy bear lift for children in refugee camps in Jordan. This activity will continue as there are 250,000 children under 12 in camps in Jordan alone. $20,000
- Members of the SF Presbytery raised $$ to get matching funds($10,000) from the Presbytery for the IRC. We hope this will happen again this year.
- Ward 3 of the Mormon Church in Walnut Creek assembled furniture donated from the church for a new Afghan family.
- Grace Cathedral is working to become a cohort to participate in sponsoring a refugee family. After raising $10,000, if they are assigned a family, they will assemble a volunteer team to be trained to work with the family helping them settle in, adjust to their new life and get work.
Our group’s goal for 2017 is to continue our work as an advocacy group for refugees and immigrants as we discover ways to help assimilate and educate. Our group members marched in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade and the Women’s March both in San Francisco and DC.