Afghan

NEIGHBOR OUTREACH

I was a stranger and you welcomed me

Matthew 25:35

Church of the Servant’s Mission Council has been asked to help Afghan families resettle here in Oklahoma City. Catholic Charities is expecting to receive 1,000 refugees – or approximately 200+ household units.

AFGHAN NEIGHBOR OUTREACH UPDATE

Updated January 14, 2022

To those of you who have filled out the donation form and are patiently holding on to your furniture, linens, and kitchen items, THANK YOU!!! To those of you who have purchased items, delivered items, and have spent time getting the first apartment organized, THANK YOU!!! This project has been painfully slow and has been a learning experience.  We are working with Catholic Charities to get our TWO Afghani families into new housing and schools.  Catholic Charities has been working to find our families adequate and affordable housing.  
The apartments that we have seen are extremely small.  The family of 5 is in a two-bedroom apartment and the family of 11 is looking at a three-bedroom apartment. We had individuals donate money to purchase all new mattresses and brand new bunk beds for the kids.  Bunk beds have been a lifesaver in such small spaces.  We will have to limit furniture and measure to see what will fit.  What that means to you is that we are not sure if we can use your items until we know the size of the living space.

Catholic Charities found an apartment for our family of 11 but it is NOT going to work for them.  Now, Catholic Charities must find a new place for them to live (which is challenging with the budget and 11 family members); this will extend our timeframe even further. We are so sorry!  Please hang on to your items for a few more weeks.  In the meantime, please double check that you have all of the pieces or parts to your donation.  We have picked up items, moved them in, and then found that pieces were missing, rendering the items unusable.

We have overcome all of the challenges thus far and we are really enjoying getting to know the two families that Church of the Servant is sponsoring.  We have a team of Servant members that have taken them to Infant Crisis Services for car seats and clothing, taken them to several doctor appointments, and have taken them to the new apartment.  

We will be in touch by phone or by email to all that have volunteered to donate items very soon.  There will also be an updated needs list in an upcoming news blast. Until then, stay safe and warm. Thank you for your patience.  

Your Afghan relations team:
Ann Knutson, Stacey Brim, and Stacy McGinnis

AFGHAN Neighbor Outreach

by Ann Knutson, Mission Team Chair

There will be considerable logistical and congregational support needed to assist our new neighbors.
There are two areas in which the families will need assistance and how we might help:

1. Household Donations. Catholic Charities has the official contract and responsibility to find housing, obtain employment authorization cards, help find jobs, get them enrolled in ESL classes, and get their initial medical appointments/ vaccinations – all within 90 days of arrival. They do not provide furniture, bedding, etc. 

2. Relational. These folks will need to get driver’s licenses, go to doctor’s appts, attend ESL classes and won’t have vehicles for a while. People helping with this will want to know cultural norms, be able to ‘translate’ America to Afghans as well as navigate paperwork, etc. The Spero Project is the only local nonprofit that works with refugees to help them navigate their new lives.

For information on household donations, click on the link below or email Stacey Brim at cbrim@cox.net.
For information about transporting refugees during the first 90 days, contact Ann Knutson at annknut@gmail.com.

donate furniture or household items

We are not taking any more furniture or household donations at this time. Please check back for more information or contact Stacey Brim at cbrim@cox.net.

AFGHAN assistance needed

Updated January 31, 2022

Thank you for the amazing response to requests for everything needed to furnish an apartment for our two families! One family of 5 moved in January 5 and are getting settled in. Two of their children are now in a Putnam City elementary school We are
still waiting on housing for our family of 11. Please pray for a home to become available soon; they have been staying in 3 hotel rooms for two months now.

Below are areas in which our families (and others) need assistance and how we might help:
  1. ESL Class Helpers These folks will need to get driver’s licenses, go to doctor’s appts, attend ESL classes and won’t have vehicles for a while. People helping with this will want to know cultural norms, be able to ‘translate’ America to Afghans as well as navigate paperwork, etc. The Spero Project is the only local nonprofit that works with refugees to help them navigate their new lives. Servant is partnering with them to provide aides for ESL (English As a Second Language) classes. Classes are Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:00-7:30pm.
  2. Drivers to Infant Crisis Services – Servant is providing transportation for any Afghan family who needs a car or booster seat or formula, diapers for those under 4. If you can help out on Tuesdays or Thursdays, you will be paired with someone who has gone before.
  3. Nurses – all the refugees need medical exams, blood work and vaccines to get them off to a healthy start. Many of the children are underweight and they all need iron. We would be very grateful if any medical personnel would be available during the weekdays to transport and be available during these visits.

    Ann Knutson
    405-323-4292
    annknut@gmail.com

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