Welcome Note Guidelines

These welcome notes are an encouraging reminder to refugee families that they’re not in this transition alone.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

• We ask that you do not use the word “refugee,” as refugees tend to be defined by what they’re coming out of and we want to focus on them moving forward.

• Please do not over-spiritualize your note, as refugees are people with various backgrounds and we desire to show them respect. This is not an opportunity to proselytize, though you are welcome to share if you are praying for the family.

• The focus of refugees upon arrival is on surviving and adapting to a new culture. They aren’t able to relate to suggestions for “hot spots” in the city.

• Kids tend to write the best welcome notes! Consider letting your child be a part of decorating and writing a note for a family.

• Finally, remember that these are people fleeing some type of violence or fear of persecution. They’re filled with hope but are often afraid of what awaits. Think of what you would want to be told. Be kind, gentle, encouraging, and welcoming!

“Welcome to Portland! We’re honored to have you. Would you come to know this city as home. We’re for you.”