THE STORY BEHIND GH4K'S CURRENT INVOLVEMENT IN BRINGING CARE TO UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE CHILDREN
About three years ago I first heard of Bethany Christian Services Refugee Program when a friend foster mom shared with me about her knowledge of being a refugee foster parent. Then last November for Orphan Sunday one of our presenters was a representative from Bethany Christian Services Refugee Program. At that time I became aware of a few facts. One of those was that unaccompanied refugee children had been a fact for MANY years with parents many times spending great amounts of money to send their children out of their tumultuous unsafe countries. They did it out of love.
Only certain states are approved to accept these children. Michigan is one of those very few states and Bethany does have an established program to care for these children.
Fast forward to today's climate and the needs are more widely known. These children have been in SW Michigan for a long time so Bethany Christian Services Refugee Program is well organized and established. Since we now know about these kids and their counter part, the Separated Refugee Minor, we must seek our responsibilities to care for these children who belong to the world community.
We, the community, must keep them safe and cared for. What is your calling? To help you come to your answer to that question, Bethany Christian Services -Refugee Program has agreed to bring their trainings on the road and come to us in SW Michigan.
An informational general presentation on the subject - THE FACTS. Followed by specific break out sessions for different areas of opportunity.
July 10, 6-9 pm
Youth Chapel, Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103
AREAS TO BE COVERED:
Volunteers—to be a volunteer with youth who are in federal care requires a background check and orientation.
Classroom volunteers—The youth attend school for six hours a day in a private educational setting. When the numbers of kids in the program rises, teachers need a lot of extra support. Teacher’s aides and field trip chaperones are what they are asking for right now.
Chefs—If you love to cook, volunteer to make school lunches for the program at Bethany. If you’re gifted in cooking Central American food that will give the kids a taste of home, that’s even better.
Legal volunteers—You don’t need to be an attorney to volunteer at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. They will be providing legal services to new arrivals and would love people who are bilingual in Spanish and English and who can devote one full day a week to the cause.
The ultimate give you can give to these kids right now is a safe and loving home. This is a long-term commitment, requiring you to get licensed as a foster parent.
ANOTHER WAY TO HELP:
-Brand new stuffed animals to give to kids when they first arrive
-Mini arts and crafts sets they can give kids to do during waiting times
-Sensory toys to help with reducing anxiety
-School supplies and art supplies for the classroom
Donation Collection Locations:
Foster Closet of Michigan
Open Tuesday 3-6 and Friday 9-12
West Main Shell
5171 West Main Street
Ask for Larry
1821 South 15th Street
Shelf Life Community Bookstore
223 N 4th St
Open Wednesday - Sunday 10-7 Donations can be left in vestibule if necessary but store hours preferable.
Ruth Murdoch Elementary School
Ameriprise Berrien Springs Lobby
8980 Old US 31
Fire & Ice
3848 Niles Rd.
St. Joseph, Michigan
Sunday - Thursday
11:30 am-10:00 pm
11:30 am-11:00 pm
This will be a growing list. If you would like your business or church added let me know and I will add your name. Thank you all for caring.
This current donation drive will close on July 9.
GOD'S HANDS 4 KIDS
This little guy was made by one of the kiddos that reunified with his family. It stands on the walls of the agency alongside many others who have been reunified.