In the last few weeks, we’ve welcomed several Afghan families and individuals to the city of Portland. Some are reuniting with their families, others don’t yet know anyone, but all are faced with the difficult task of rebuilding their lives.
This Saturday, we are welcoming another Afghan family to Portland – two parents and their three young children. Just this morning, restart kits were set aside in preparation for their arrival. As this family sees their names handwritten on each kit, it is our hope that they would immediately feel the welcome and care of our city, knowing they were thought of long before their arrival.
To help meet the needs of many arriving families, we have furnished a multi-room building for temporary housing, complete with kitchen items, toiletries, and bedding. We will see families take these new belongings with them as they transition to a more permanent home. We are distributing gift cards for groceries and clothing, as many families are arriving with only a couple sets of clothes. We are also currently identifying further temporary housing options, and beginning to pair volunteers with families and youth to walk alongside one another for the coming year.
One family recently asked their case manager, “Who is doing this?” and they were told, “People who have opened their hearts to refugees.”
It is when we experience these stories firsthand that we are reminded of the humanity we all share, and recognize the power of hospitality and welcome. We are so grateful for the ways this community is rallying to support our new neighbors.