For those of you who are not aware, there is a group in Lane County that was formed by volunteers from many different faith-based and community-based groups called the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County. Because the flow of refugees to the U.S. slowed to a trickle during the past two years, they recently have begun to include asylum-seekers as well as refugees (I.e., those who are fleeing war, violence, or persecution in their country of origin). The volunteers work hard to help people find housing, learn English, get a job, and establish their legal right to live peacefully in our community.
As Tom Mulhern, Executive Director of Catholic Community Services of Lane County, Inc. stated,
“These are small, practical actions, but they have a broader social impact. That’s because, when you sit down with someone and help them learn English, you don’t see them as a label, you see them as a person. That experience helps build a more peaceful, welcoming and inclusive community and society.”
LHC recently connected with Tom regarding a way that families from Little Hands Can might be able to help. We learned that a group affiliated with the Refugee Resettlement Coalition assembles school kits and relief kits to send to refugee camps overseas, through the Mennonite Central Committee. You can learn more about these kits on their website.
Basic school supplies are treasured items for families who are unable to afford them. School kits are sometimes requested after disasters and help bring a sense of normalcy to children whose families have been forced to flee their homes. According to the Mennonite Central Committee:
“78,035 shipped last year to Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Zambia, Ukraine, Somalia, Burkina Faso, Canada, and the U.S.”
On April 30, 2019, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to assemble some of these kits through LHC’s Happy Helpers Program.
Here’s where YOU come in!
Over the next two months, we will be collecting drawstring bags and supplies for these school kits Here are two ways YOU can help:
We are conducting a supply drive through February, March, and April for these kits. Please see the graphic below for ideas on what you can donate that will be included in the kits. *Note that they ask for ALL METAL pencil sharpeners. Plastic case pencil sharpeners are not accepted.
Sew one or more drawstring bags, in which we will be packing the school supplies kits. Below is a graphic from the Mennonite Central Committee that explains how to sew the bags:
**Please email Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rachel at email@example.com if you would like to make a donation.
Thank you so much for your support! Little Hands Can make a world of difference!