Ukraine Welcome Circle Introduction
In each day’s news, and especially during the recent anniversary of the war, we all see with pain the dangers and destruction that people in Ukraine are experiencing, and hear about some who have left their homes and are now waiting out the war in temporary migrant settings. So many of us want to be able to do something.
With the support of Catholic Charities, a group of St. Peter’s parish members has formed a Sponsor Circle for a family to move here from Ukraine, or a country of temporary refuge, as soon as possible. They will come through a recent immigration program that now allows Ukrainians displaced by the war to move to the U. S. for two years, when there is stable financial and social support for them here.
Our hope is that this Circle will be joined and supported by any and everyone in the parish and community who is interested in welcoming a family from Ukraine very soon. Working together we can help this family secure housing, enroll their children in school, connect to needed health care, and find employment opportunities, as well as providing financial support as they settle into living here.
Becoming a Part of the Ukraine Welcome
Welcoming a family will involve supporting them in many ways, as they join and find their place in our community. Here is a list of the efforts in which we will need your help.
What excites or interests you? What do you have experience with or passion in?
Housing and basic necessities
● Find housing at an affordable or assisted cost
● Provide and organize food staples and seasonally appropriate clothing
● Secure needed household items,furniture, pots/pans, linens, bedding (freecycle, facebook marketplace, thrift shops, target run with funds from donations)
Education and Translation/interpretation and learning English
● Assist with navigating education system for school selection, help with enrollment for children and adults (if desired)
● Connect with interpreter resources
● Assist with connection for language and digital literacy classes
● Serve as informal language training partners.
Welcoming and local orientation
● Assist with transportation, such as rides to appointments
● Orient newcomers to local community resources
● teach and orient to public transportation
● Orient newcomers to personal and home safety
● Facilitate connections with local ethnic based community groups and/or faith groups
- Visiting our newcomers
“Yahweh God defends the cause of the orphan and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” Deuteronomy 10:18-19
Finance and Employment
● help with fundraising efforts, especially in raising adequate funds for housing and their immediate needs
● help develop a basic family budget with newcomers
● provide job advice- how to look for jobs, how to apply, help with online employment exchanges
Benefits and Healthcare
● Help family connect to healthcare system and local health providers
● Assist them in enrolling in services and benefits – health insurance, food assistance
● Help them in connecting to local, state and community-based nonprofit services ● Help with accessing and connecting with legal assistance if needed
● Help recruit volunteers (volunteers need not be members of our parish- we welcome everyone!)
● Organize volunteers via google sheets, sign up genius, etc
● Maintain an ongoing volunteer bank
We are currently welcoming donations. These can be made by a check to ‘St. Peter Parish’ with the note UKRAINE WELCOME in the memo line or via the parish website online giving portal.
Please reach out to us at [email protected]
Ukraine Welcome Sponsor Circle Members:
Frank Hartmann – Leader/Coordinator
Michael Reidy –Welcome & Orientation, Fundraising, Housing
Rebecca Joyce – Education, Fundraising, Health & Benefits
Lauren Curry – Fundraising and Finding Housing
Barbara Best – Volunteer Coordination and Training