Good Neighbor Program, Immigrant Family

Oseh Shalom: A “Good Neighbor” for a Newly Arriving Refugee Family

Oseh Shalom will be helping a newly arriving refugee family to get on their feet during their first months in the United States.  We hope you will join with other congregants to show our support for refugees and to be good neighbors to a family fleeing war and persecution.

We don’t know yet the origin of the family, how large it will be, or other details.  We do know that they will be legally admitted refugees, who are only resettled to the United States after a careful, multiple-layered screening procedure that takes about two years.  It is likely that the family will include someone who worked as an interpreter or otherwise assisted the US government in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Oseh Shalom Board of Directors agreed to join the Good Neighbor Program, which is coordinated by Lutheran Social Services and involves other area congregations. We will be starting at the most basic level, which involves a commitment to:

  • Organize donation drives to collect furnishings and supplies for the newly arriving refugee family.
  • Set up the apartment before the family arrives, providing all needed furnishings and household supplies.

If there is sufficient interest, Oseh Shalom will have the option of expanding its commitment in ways that will enable congregants to meet and interact directly with the refugee family to help them adjust to life in Maryland. We will be providing more information and a volunteer sign-up opportunity in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, if you would like to be part of the planning group or if you have storage space you can make available, please contact Eileen Hollander at ehollan1@jhu.edu, Shari Argue at argue3@gmail.com, or Bill Frelick at bfrelick@gmail.com.

Every year, as we sit at the Pesach dinner table, we remember that we were slaves in Egypt. Let us remember, too, that we were refugees as well.

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Your Oseh Shalom “Good Neighbor” committee

 

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