If you’ve paid attention to the news over the past several weeks, you’ve witnessed the plight of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe. In a state of limbo, families are fleeing persecution and strife, leaving behind everything that they know to embark on a dangerous journey. Their goal: a place where their children and families can live in safety. Thrust into these tragic circumstances, many refugee children are suffering from depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
As Catholics, Pope Francis has called special attention to the refugee crisis in Europe, asking every Catholic parish in Europe to take in one refugee family. This is truly one of the humanitarian crises of our lifetime. Did you know that through your Catholic Charities of the East Bay, you have helped resettle refugees to the United States since 1975? Together, we have welcomed over 1,300 people fleeing persecution and violence since 2001, including those fleeing the Civil War in Syria. This month alone we will welcome 27 refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar and Nepal.
Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program caseworkers welcome refugees at the airport and take them to the affordable housing we have secured for them. We assist them with their social security applications, health screenings, and other social service appointments. Our Refugee Employment Services specialists provide employment counseling, job preparation workshops, vocational English as a second language classes, financial assistance for transportation, vocational training, and job placement services.
There is so much more that we can do to be “Christ’s church in the street.” Here is how you can help.
- Catholic Charities of the East Bay’s Family to Family Program creates a relationship between a low-income family and a team of volunteers within a parish. The ultimate goal is to connect with and mentor the family to a level of economic sustainability. Read about one refugee family who has thrived in Family to Family. If you are interested in “Welcoming the Stranger” through our Family to Family Program, please contact Jude Stevens at (510) 439-4269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Support Catholic Charities of the East Bay’s Refugee Resettlement Program and our Refugee Employment Services through your generous donation. Please go to https://www.cceb.org/get-involved/donate/.
[box]With your help, together, we will bring hope to refugees in crisis.[/box]