Feeling Minnesota Nice? These New Afghan Arrivals Could Use Your Help
Compassion for people and cultures that we don't understand, can be hard to find at times...and yet, I find that many people in our community are eager to ease the pain and fear of those looking to start over; for those people who may not have any idea where to start. For these people, dreaming of what the future holds may be on hold, as they just trying to get their feet on the ground, and make a better life for their families. Isn't it what most of us want?
The best way to understand people, and to invite them to be a part of our world, is to show kindness and support. It can be difficult with language barriers, cultural barriers, and the fact that we have never had to experience what refugees and evacuees have gone through, but reaching out and offering a helping hand is a great place to start.
MAKING A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
So far this year, Minnesota has welcomed 341 Afghan evacuees since September of this year. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, 56% are children under the age of 18, and 41% of those here in Minnesota are 19 to 50 years of age.
VOLUNTEER AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE
If you have been wondering how you can make these displaced people feel welcome, and help them adjust to a new world, the need for volunteers is great right now. There is a need for volunteers to assist at the hotel where many of the new families are arriving and staying until suitable housing is in place for them. Volunteers are needed right now to help organize donations, sort out clothing, and provide some activities for the children, as well as serve meals to people's rooms. Volunteer shifts are 4-hour blocks of time.
If you would like to volunteer you can contact Suzi.Kissinger@usc.salvationarmy.org at the Salvation Army. All of the people who volunteer must have a background check and complete a short training, to help educate you on how to assist.
If you are someone who has rental property and is interested in renting to particularly large families, you can also contact the state leadership team at Dhs.firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more information.