Grace Refugee Ministry

Grace Refugee Ministry

After a year of working, waiting, and praying, our refugee family has arrived!!  Working with Lutheran Social Services, we are supporting a family of 7 from Afghanistan.  They have moved into an apartment, which we located here in Silver Spring, and are trying to settle in.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Katrina Kugel at katrinaemmerson@yahoo.com  If you would like to make a financial contribution, you can write a check to Grace Church, with Refugee Ministry written in the memo line.

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The Refugee Committee at Grace Church is partnering with Lutheran Social Services/National Capital Area (LSS/NCA) to sponsor a refugee family through their Good Neighbor program. This will be a one-year commitment and includes assisting the family in finding and setting up their new apartment, providing rental assistance, as well as providing additional support (including the basics such as stocking the pantry and welcoming the family at the airport, assisting with financial education and job development, and transportation assistance).

LSS/NCA describes the program as a “group of volunteers who closely works together to help a newly arrived refugee family rebuild their lives in America. The Good Neighbor serves as a personal guide through a culture and community that is new and often strange to refugees. Most importantly, Good Neighbors are trustworthy and caring friends to families who frequently have endured terrifying persecution and turbulent journeys to reach newfound opportunity in the Washington, DC metro area.”

To read about an example of one of these partnerships, through the eyes of their children, please click here.

In addition to financial support, this effort will require a lot of helping hands. We are looking for people to help with the following teams:

Finance Team

  • Adapt the budget sheet to meet the needs of the family.
  • Identify and cultivate sources of funding; see that there are funds available for the family’s expenses and rental assistance. (All donations should go directly through LSS/NCA).
  • Collect, distribute, and account for new and continuing funds.
  • Teach banking, budgeting, and basic finance to the family.
  • Assist in the preparation of income tax forms and savings account management.

Qualifications:  Knowledge of family finances and banking procedures.
Hours per week:  2-4 hours

Food & Clothing Team

  • Collect and deliver first month’s supply of food and perishables.
  • Schedule a trip to the local grocery store.
  • Schedule outings to department and thrift stores.
  • Provide any weather-related clothing needs.
  • All food must be culturally appropriate (Halal, Kosher, Vegetarian)
  • Clothing must also be culturally appropriate (with the exception of winter wear). Therefore, clothing should be purchased/collected following the family’s arrival. It is impossible to know exact sizes of clothing prior to family’s arrival.

Qualifications:  Ability to shop on a limited budget. (Most work will be immediately following arrival.)
Hours per week: 2-4 hours