2018 has been a whirlwind so far at Canopy! We've launched several new programs, organized some big advocacy events-- and we're really just getting started. Catch up on everything we've been doing, everything we've got coming up and how YOU can be involved:
1. Investing in Tomorrow, Financial Literacy for Tyson Team Members. In partnership with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Credit Counseling of Arkansas, Canopy NWA has launched a pilot financial literacy class for immigrants and refugees at two Tyson plants in our area. This initial 8-week class has students from the Marshall Islands, Somalia, Mexico and El Salvador. In the absence of new refugee arrivals, we've really enjoyed the opportunity to serve a wider subset of the immigrant community!
2. Women's Empowerment. Our volunteer coordinator, Miranda, has assembled a rockin' team of volunteers who are set to launch a women's empowerment program for refugee women in Northwest Arkansas. This program's mission is to bring women together to support each other, learn from each other and help each other pursue their goals for their new lives in the US. We can't wait to see where this goes. If you'd like to support this initiative, email email@example.com to find out how.
3. Ongoing Cultural Orientation and Mentorship. We're working on developing a series of monthly cultural orientation workshops to help our refugee families learn how to navigate our community's systems and resources-- even long after they've finished our reception and placement program. We'll get started in March with a workshop to help all our clients complete their tax returns :) Do you have a topic you'd like to teach that you think could be helpful to our refugee clients? Do you want to help us facilitate these workshops or assist with transportation or childcare? Great! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and watch Better Impact, our volunteer management portal, for opportunities to volunteer.
February 20, 6-8 pm: Advocacy Training. Come to the offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters to learn about how you can be an effective advocate for refugees in this crucial moment. Space is limited, so we ask that you register in advance on Better Impact.
February 24, 4 pm: Refugee Night at Artists' Laboratory Theater. Come hear performances by and about refugees and learn more about the work Canopy does. Donations and tips will go toward our big trip to Washington DC.
March 2, 7-8:30 pm: Movie Night Fundraiser at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Bring your whole family and join us in watching the award-winning film Coco. There will be a $10 suggested donation for admission to help us raise funds for our big trip to Washington DC-- all you can eat popcorn included.
March 4, 5-8 pm: Kitchen Takeover at MOD in Bentonville. NWA Emerging Leaders and Modern Ozark Dining are teaming up to offer an incredible meal, inspired by Congolese refugees and benefiting Canopy NWA. You'll have the opportunity to taste Congolese cuisine, hear from some Congolese refugees and support the work that we do. Tickets are available now but they're going fast! Buy yours today.
March 15-16: Trip to Washington DC! Canopy NWA is taking a group of 20 people from our community to Washington DC to meet with our representatives. This group will include refugees, co-sponsors, community members (some as young as 12), college students, pastors and businessmen, all eager to share their stories with our leaders on Capitol Hill. Many of these participants need to raise funds in order to make this trip possible-- so please consider giving to help them along their way, and/or attend the other fundraising events we are holding this month.
As you can see, we are giving 2018 everything we've got! We're pushing our representatives to bring our refugee families home, we're expanding our services to reach more members of our community and we're creating new programs to allow us to serve our refugee families in new ways. None of this work is funded by the federal government-- it's only possible thanks to contributions from people just like you. To help us keep all this going, please consider giving a gift today!