This year has been marked by serving more refugee families than ever before. Through our programs, we’ve provided support to hundreds of families who have fled war and violence – including a substantial number from recent events in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
We are humbled by the impact Refugee Care Collective has had in the lives of so many, and are honored to have such a meaningful role in coming alongside those rebuilding their lives.
• Refugee Served: 470 Households
This year, the reach of our work set an all-time record for the number of households served in a single year, felt by nearly 1,700 people from 470 households. While the majority of people arrived from Afghanistan and Ukraine, our work extended to people from 22 countries. From restart kits to winter coats, to family and youth mentorship, to grocery gift cards and other forms of emergency relief support, we are grateful to have such a meaningful role in meeting these needs.
Countries Represented: Afghanistan, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Moldova, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia
• Restart Kits Distributed: 3,011
We’ve distributed thousands of restart kits to refugee families and individuals arriving in Oregon and SW Washington. Many of these families arrived with few possessions – some with a suitcase of personal items or only the clothes they were wearing. We continue to hear story after story of how being met with restart kits filled with brand new household items is to experience a warmth and kindness that extends far beyond physical items.
• Expanding Mentorship Programs: 121 New Mentors
This year, our Family Mentorship Program grew by 75 households (over 300 people served), empowering families and individuals to be self-sufficient through wraparound volunteer support. From job assistance, to English language learning, to connecting with community resources, mentors provided both essential support and friendship to refugees working to rebuild their lives. Additionally, our Youth Mentorship Program paired mentors with 31 junior-high and high-school students to bring academic assistance, cultural orientation, guidance, and friendship. In total, we added 121 new mentors to our mentorship programs, bringing our total number of mentors paired to nearly 600 people since 2015.
• Grocery Gift Cards for 155 Households
We are grateful for the opportunity to further expand our grocery gift card distribution this year, providing support for 155 households with demonstrated need. Grocery gift cards have proven to be a meaningful way of providing support to families experiencing significant hardship for a season, including those experiencing food insecurity, employment loss, and medical crisis, while maintaining a sense of dignity in the process.
• Additional Support
Over the past year, we’ve responded to essential needs for hundreds of families, providing winter coats, school supplies to children, and laptops to connect households with community resources. In 2022, we directed over 500 individual furniture donations to our partners for newly arriving families and individuals, and also coordinated critical housing assistance for several families.
In 2023, we are expecting to see between 1,200-1,500 new refugees arrive in Oregon – many from Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar. To meet this need, we plan to continue expanding our Mentorship Programs, while maintaining ongoing support to those who have arrived in previous years.
We are also excited to announce the launch of a new program called Restock Kits, which will provide essential household staples to eligible refugee families on an ongoing basis. Beginning in January, eligible families will receive a quarterly delivery of personal care items, cleaning supplies, diapers for new moms, and grocery gift cards. Read more here.
Thank you for the many ways you have given in support of our refugee neighbors. We are deeply grateful for the work that’s been made possible by your generosity. As you consider your final gifts of the year, we invite you again into this ongoing story of coming alongside those who are working to rebuild their lives. Give a one-time gift here.
Wishing you and your family peace, love, and joy this holiday season.
Megan Cegla, Founder & Executive Director
Refugee Care Collective
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Through financial gifts or in-kind donations, we are grateful for the work made possible through the support of:
Ainsworth Elementary School, Alberta Cooperative Grocery, Avery Dennison, BBG Real Estate Services, Beaverton Foursquare, The Boeing Company, Borders Perrin Norrander, Bridgetown Church, Cedar Mill Bible, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, City of Portland Bureau of Development Services, Congregation Beth Israel, East Hill Foursquare, First Presbyterian of Portland, Grace Chapel, Harvest Community Church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Imago Dei Community, JustServe Community, Lake Grove Presbyterian, Lake Oswego United Church, La-Z-Boy Furniture, Lewis & Clark Montessori Charter School, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, Multnomah Whiskey Library, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, New Seasons Market, New Thought Center for Spiritual Living, NW Natural Gas Company, Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Episcopal School, Rain the Growth, Raymond Family Foundation, RE/MAX Equity Group, Ridwell, River West Church, Scott Edwards Architecture LLP, Standard Insurance, The Starbucks Foundation, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal, Trinity Community Church, Twin Peaks Foundation, Union Chapel, West Linn Alliance, West Linn Lutheran Church, Westside Church, Women of Vision, 26 West Church, The Yo Store
A special thanks to our Monthly Giving Community for their ongoing support of our refugee neighbors, as well as those who have given a one-time contribution to come alongside refugee families. We are so grateful.