A Message of Hope

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Our Immediate Assistance and Mentorship Programs have served hundreds of families so far this year. Over the last several months, we’ve seen the stories of so many people in our community unfold in new ways that remind us of hope.

  • We think of a family of three from Myanmar who arrived earlier this year. Both parents shared their interest in furthering their education and learning English. We were able to pair them with a mentor who’s an English language teacher at a local community college and is providing incredible support.

  • After the husband and father of three young children from Syria experienced the unfortunate loss of his job, we extended critical assistance through grocery gift cards and Restock Kits filled with essential supplies to fill the gap before he found a new job.

  • A family of seven from Afghanistan, with children ranging in age from 3-17, arrived in Portland earlier this year. They were paired with Family Mentors and Youth Mentors to provide holistic support. The mentors identified, visited, and helped apply to affordable housing options for this family, while also walking alongside the youth and parents to understand communications from their school.

  • As an emergent English language learner, a young man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo had difficulty understanding his school schedule and why he was placed in a lower grade level than his peers. We paired him with a retired teacher to come alongside as a Youth Mentor, and this student gained an advocate who has been able to help him navigate school registration, build English proficiency, advance academically, and get involved in extracurriculars.

  • A young woman who was recently resettled from El Salvador was paired with a mentor and expressed her need for a laptop computer to access resources online. Our team responded quickly and provided a new Chromebook along with English language learning materials. We look forward to seeing her journey unfold.

  • Earlier this year, a single Ukrainian mother and her two children were victims of fraud while trying to leave Ukraine. This left them in a difficult financial situation. The rental assistance we provided not only helped this family avoid eviction, but gave space to find work and sustainable options long-term.

To these families, these moments communicate that humanity has more to offer than the division and devastation that has marked large parts of their experience. They communicate that people see them, that our community cares, and that life has the capacity to hold something better. Comforters and pillows for a family that just arrived, groceries for the week after a single parent gets sick, mentors to help find jobs, attend parent-teacher conferences, or simply share in both the hardships and joys – these moments may seem small, but to our new neighbors, they are incredibly meaningful to their journey of rebuilding.

This holiday season, consider giving a gift to a refugee family through our Holiday Give Guide. Provide grocery gift cards to a refugee mother, bring mentorship to resettled families and youth, or sponsor a family for an entire year.

Thank you for the ways you continue to tangibly show up for refugee families in our community!

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