As many of you may be aware, a number of our Holy Cross parishioners expressed a desire to work with refugees who are being resettled to the Wilmington area.
On November 22nd, a group of us met with Sara Paschal from Interfaith Refugee Ministries (IRM) for a two hour training session. The training, a requirement before we can co-sponsor/work with any refugees, was very informative.
We discussed how we at Holy Cross would be able to help refugees once they arrive in Wilmington. Services as simple as meeting them at the airport, driving them to their new home (an apartment obtained by IRM), providing a warm, home cooked meal (culturally appropriate, of course J), or helping to set up their apartment the week before their arrival are ways we could make them feel welcomed.
Other ways to help could include transportation, help in learning English, going shopping with them for food and/or clothing, helping them learn to ride the bus, inviting them to activities in the community to help them get oriented to their new surroundings, providing assistance getting to medical appointments, helping them apply for employment, attending ESL classes (English as a Second Language) and as you can see, the list goes on.
The good news is IRM will partner with us to divide up the many tasks that are part of resettling a family. We, as a Holy Cross group, get to decide how involved we want to get with the family. The minimum number of activities that IRM requests from a co-sponsor is three. As we have not yet determined the areas we would like to be involved with, our group will meet again after the first of the year.
We’re still accepting volunteers, if any of you would like to join us! It’s a wonderful way to make a difference in someone’s life and it could be one of the most interesting adventures you’ve ever taken! We will have another training session in January. If you are interested in joining, please contact Dora Alcon at: firstname.lastname@example.org.