For many of us, offering direct support to refugees is the most satisfying part of our work. Although there are fewer refugees being admitted to the U.S. this year, there are also many refugees and asylees that have already been resettled in the U.S. that can benefit from occasional support. To respond to this, HHR launched the Helping Hands program in partnership with Catholic Charities Community Service (CCCS).
Helping Hands aims to assist those who may no longer be in the initial resettlement period but find themselves needing help from time to time.
This “matching” program, connects refugees with volunteers looking to be supporters of and advocates for the refugee community. CCCS identifies the needs and together with HHR, screens and trains volunteers.
This program gives individuals, families, and organizations the opportunity for meaningful interaction with a refugee family in need. Assistance might range from a clothing drive, the collection of toiletries, or the donation of gift cards for gas or diapers, to assistance with medical appointments, language classes, job training, job searches, or even a housing search. This program bolsters our recently resettled neighbors, engages volunteers and ultimately strengthens the welcoming movement in Westchester County where our robust volunteer corps has the potential to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.
Clients in the first round of the program included five refugee/asylee cases, from Central African Republic, El Salvador, The Gambia, Honduras and Venezuela. These cases were matched with two refugee resettlement support groups, one church, and one local family.
Currently, we are accepting applications for the second round of Helping Hands cases. Would you, your church or social/civic group, family members have time to step up to help those in these vulnerable populations? Applications are available here: Helping Hands Application.
For questions about being a Helping Hand, send an email to Lisa Kiernan: firstname.lastname@example.org