Samaritas helps refugees learn our language, find jobs and more to integrate them into our culture. Many of these individuals go on to build successful businesses, provide jobs and revitalize neighborhoods. This work is heavily dependent upon corporate volunteer teams, church congregations and individuals to supplement our staff’s efforts. As you ponder how you can be of assistance to a New American, consider the options below.
Replenish the Samaritas New Americans pantry.
Samaritas has an Amazon Wish List to help stock the pantries of refugees and their families. Anything donated from Amazon will be distributed to these families in need. Visit bit.ly/NewAmericansWishlist to see the list.
Stock the homes of Samaritas Foster Care families.
Samaritas also has an Amazon Wish List to help foster parents support the children in their care. Food and household items are needed and will be distributed to these families. Visit bit.ly/FosterFamilyWishlist to see the list.
You can also consider making a monetary donation at Samaritas.org/donate . Be sure to click on the donate button and choose options like New Americans, Refugee Transitional Foster Care and Refugee Foster Care or in the drop-down menu.
Become a Volunteer
Samaritas has a strong portfolio of volunteer activities to match the skill set of most people and organizations. Take a look at the available opportunities and contact Lauren Brosch by email at Lbros@samaritas.org to volunteer for any of the activities below.
Offer basic financial literacy.
This may include showing them how to set-up a checking account, a monthly budget, how to pay bills and how to cash a check.
Provide computer literacy tips.
This may include showing them how to set-up their computer with common programs like Microsoft and how to access the Internet.
Serve as a cultural integration mentor.
This may include showing them how to use public transportation in their city, locate major points of interest and how to access free city services and food pantries. You can also volunteer to take to cultural events and activities.
Support the Refugee Art Show
In 2020, You can also have your favorite piece printed on an item for a small fee. Partial proceeds from each sale will help fund their enrichment programs.
Art appreciation is one of the enrichment activities to give these students an outlet to express themselves. Talent like this shouldn’t and cannot be contained which is why we need your help to make sure that we have plenty more programs to diversify their experience.
Be a Foster Parent
Get licensed to foster an unaccompanied refugee minor.
As part of the Samaritas Independent Living program, teens aged 16 to 19 are taught how to be independent and become a self-sufficient adult. As a licensed foster home, you can provide these teens with a home and serve as a family to support their growth. Visit this page to learn how to get started.
Talk to Your Senator
Support the next COVID relief package.
The House passed the HEROES Act on May 15, and there is increasing pressure for the Senate to begin negotiations on the next COVID relief legislation.
Senators must hear that their constituents want to see meaningful solutions that support all our neighbors, including refugee community members. Help increase pressure on the Senate by circulating this LIRS action alert to your network. Also, a joint letter by LIRS, LSA, and 50+ ELCA Bishops sent to Congressional leadership urging them to include our priorities in the next relief package.
Click here to listen to an inspiring message from Samaritas partner and champion of New Americans,
US Senator, Gary Peters.
Enjoy These Musical Performances
Orchestra Rouh is a free, year-around music program serving children of Syrian and other refugee families and recent immigrants newly resettled in Kalamazoo. Take a minute to listen to their latest performance.
Don't forget to check out Samaritas African Refugee Umulisa Muhorakeye’s version of church hymn “ I Surrender All ” sang in her native Kinyarwanda language.