Northfield church aims to help refugees
Updated: June 19, 2012 3:31PM
A collaboration of local religious establishments will co-sponsor a World Refugee Day of Service held at Lutheran Church of the Ascension, 460 Sunset Ridge Rd., Northfield, on June 24 from noon to 3 p.m.
Household items such as kitchen utensils, pots and pans, bedding, and small furnishings will be collected during the event for RefugeeOne, a non-profit organization and refugee resettlement agency that assists about 2,500 refugees from all over the world get settled in the Chicago area.
RefugeeOne partners with churches and community organizations throughout the year to collect items to furnish the apartments of newly arriving refugees.
The organization helps refugee families become independent members of their new communities by setting them up with furnished apartments, helping them learn English, getting them used to American culture, helping them secure jobs and apply for American citizenship.
“The refugees come here with just the clothes they have on,” said Lois Vining, communications leader for Lutheran Church of the Ascension. “RefugeeOne pays their rent for an amount of time before they get on their feet and find jobs. They also get sponsors to help them with English and become acclimated into the community.”
The refugees served by the program are families and individuals who have been displaced from their homelands due to war, terror and persecution. They come from many different countries including Burma, China, Iraq and various African countries.
The goal of the event Sunday is to collect household items to furnish apartments for ten refugee families scheduled to arrive in the Chicagoland area in the next few months. Two trucks parked in the church’s parking lot will be filled and the items will be taken to storage facilities and later used to furnish the apartments.
For a full donation list, go to http://www.refugeeone.org/donation_list.pdf.