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Refugee & Immigrant Aid Committee

Support for an Afghani Refugee Family 

B’nai Israel’s Refugee and Immigrant Aid Committee is sponsoring an Afghan family that has been settled in PG County. The father worked for a US government agency in Afghanistan and they have seven children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are now in school here.
 
You can help by purchasing gift cards from Target, Walmart, or Amazon and having them sent to B'nai Israel (attention: Refugee Aid); or send them electronically to: 
Mica Carmio.
 
You also can help purchase furniture for the apartment or subsidize future rent payments with a donation to the Tzedakah and Welfare Fund. Please put "Refugee Aid" in the payment notes section. Learn more about what the committee has been doing and how your donations can help below. 
 
If you would prefer to support future work of the committee rather than the apartment, you can do so with a donation to the Taffet Family Endowment for Refugee and Immigrant Aid. For questions, please reach out to Mica Carmio or Anne Seymour. Thank you for your generosity.


The B’nai Israel Refugee & Immigrant Aid Committee, in partnership with the Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSS/NCA), had the great privilege of furnishing an apartment for an Afghani family of eight refugees in January of 2019. Their story described how our committee efficiently arranged for donated funds to purchase furniture and household items
as well as set up the apartment—with the amazing and generous support from our B’nai community.

But it was much more than furniture...

It was an incredible experience to welcome the family, not only to our area, but to our culture and to make a challenging transition less stressful. As co-chairs, Anne and Mica described, “From the beginning, we wanted the parents and their six wonderful children, ranging in ages from 5–16, to feel like they had an extended family. For each family member’s birthday, we would celebrate with cake, decorations, cards, and presents. To see their faces light up with such joy—and sincere appreciation—was priceless. We started a new “U.S.” tradition of celebrating birthdays, which they had never experienced.”

While the Committee shared some American traditions, they introduced the Committee to their culture as well. The visits would always begin with warm hugs and several kisses on
each cheek followed by sweet hot green tea, and an assortment of nuts and dried fruit. The conversation was a bit challenging at first—using a lot of hand signals and facial expressions—but substantially improved with each visit. The kids learned many English words and phrases and were so excited to share their progress in school. After a couple of months the kids were fluent in English. During each visit, we would help them with their homework as needed as well as play cards, sports, and other activities. The best part is that the children have developed a warm friendship, with some even drinking tea as their regular drink.

There are many families like them that need our support. The B’nai Israel Refugee & Immigrant Aid Committee is seeking your help to furnish another apartment for a new refugee family. Your meaningful support would be so appreciated—whether through funds and/or time.

Thank you for considering this meaningful tikkun olam project.  Click here to donate. Funds will be directed to the Tzedakah and Welfare Fund. Please put "Refugee Aid" in the payment notes section. For questions and more heartwarming stories about the family, please reach out to Mica Carmio or Anne Seymour.

 

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782