We are flabbergasted, overwhelmed, and completely and utterly delighted to let you know that together, we obliterated our end-of-year fundraising goal of $15,000.
Together, we raised nearly $29,000 in the month of December. That's almost a third of our entire annual fundraising goal. In one month.
Together, as a community, we welcomed 71 refugees in 2018. They came to us from El Salvador, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Ukraine and Honduras, fleeing gang violence, civil wars, genocide and political persecution. They brought us Bibles, bachelors’ degrees, babies; new languages, foods and ideas. And you were there for them.
You were there at the airport when they wandered down the hall, their eyes scanning the space for any sign of welcome. You were there at the hospital when their children were sick and scared and nearly dying—and when their children were born, little bundles of American hope. You were there in line at the DMV, in the enrollment center at NWACC, in their living rooms in the early hours of the morning and the late hours at night. Guiding them, learning from them, welcoming them. Loving them.
Together, as a community we helped 14 families become financially self-sufficient this year. We placed 20 adults in jobs as truck drivers, factory workers, housekeepers and nurses. But they didn’t stop there. We saw get them get GEDs, enroll in college and get their CDL licenses. They traveled to Washington DC to speak with their elected officials and created a nonprofit to meet the needs of other refugees still in camps. Their children made the honor roll, played on the school soccer team and recited the pledge of allegiance in front of the school board.
They brought their work ethic, determination and dreams. You carved out a place for them here.
For volunteering nearly 700 hours
For driving over 800 miles
For furnishing 17 homes
For raising over $100,000
To our teachers who worked long past quitting time to make sure our children could thrive
To our police who collected Christmas presents and groceries to bring to our families just so they knew they were loved
To our doctors who lovingly nurtured bodies young and old and paid for prescriptions out of their own pockets when our families couldn’t afford them
To our college students who worked tirelessly to build support for refugees on their college campuses and in their communities
To our adult educators and English language instructors who dreamed as big as their students
To all the managers who gave our hard-working, determined refugees a chance
To all the workers at the DHS, DMV and Social Security office who processed the unglamorous paperwork. On time. With grace.
To all the volunteers who got up early, went out of their way, shared a meal, changed a diaper or otherwise sacrificed for the sake of a stranger.
Thank you. It takes a community to resettle refugees. We’re so glad your ours.