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How You Can Make a Difference in a Refugee’s Life

Posted on April 26, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

One Person, One Family at a Time

Overwhelmed by news of suffering refugees fleeing to the safety of U.S. shores and wish you could help? Thanks to Catholic Charities NY’s partnership with Family-to-Family, you can join us in making a difference one person, one family at a time.

Making a Difference One Family at a Time

As a primary provider of immigration and refugee services in New York, Catholic Charities pairs refugees we serve with individuals contacting Family-to-Family to offer their help.  This nonprofit organization based in Hastings on Hudson, NY with a national reach works with donors wishing to sponsor a family in need. Catholic Charities, in turn, pairs refugees we serve with Family-to-Family donors while providing all involved with anonymity and dignity. Refugees, meanwhile, share their histories, current circumstances and future dreams so donors get to know the family they help. 

“It’s been a fantastic experience,” said Pam Koner, Executive Director of Family-to-Family.  “The women we work with at Catholic Charities are so delightful and caring for the families.   Catholic Charities interprets our model with such dignity, which is key for us.”  

Assistance can range from the Family-to-Family basic $50 monthly gift card to a local supermarket or, as the relationship grows, it can become more comprehensive.

Groceries, Yes, and Kind Notes as Well

After helping cover the cost of a week’s worth of groceries for a refugee family of four from West Africa, one sponsor, Barbara, for example, wanted to pitch in more when she learned of the family’s growing need.  Catholic Charities had already helped the French-speaking parents learn English, study for and secure their GEDs, train for work in health care and land jobs after the family received legal refugee status.  But money became impossibly tight when the couple’s earnings from their just-over-minimum-wage jobs were cut in half.  The mom had given birth prematurely to their third child, forcing her to take time off from work.

Concerned about the family, Barbara sent not only boxes filled with new winter clothing, jackets and tops but also kind notes letting the family know she cared.

“The power of a one-on-one connection is so meaningful,” Ms. Koner said.   “Direct giving has such direct rewards not only for family served but for the donor. Our partnership with Catholic Charities offers a very unique way to make a difference.”

Learn more about Family-to-Family and make a difference in an immigrant’s life.