Have you ever donated clothes and wondered who would end up with your sweater or old pair of jeans?
Clare doesn’t wonder that, because she is part of the New Neighbors Partnership. Clare was matched with a refugee family with younger kids than her own, and she shares ongoing clothing hand-me-downs from season to season.
What began in New York City in 2017 as a community initiative to address the lack of ongoing support for newly arrived refugees has exponentially grown. Local donor families have supported their partner families in amazing ways from sending grocery orders during the pandemic to helping the refugee family secure vaccine appointments.
We are living in a time of unbelievable displacement, with back-to-back refugee crises and waves of newcomers from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and now Venezuela. The economic and political crisis in Venezuela has resulted in the second largest external displacement of a population in human history – 7.1 million refugees and asylum seekers have left the country, many with no possessions or safe destination guaranteed.
While the need has grown, so has the number of those stepping up to help. New Neighbors already had a waiting list of 250+ New Yorker families eager to share clothing packages and be involved in the work of welcoming. The only thing standing in their way was someone to facilitate and maintain these partnerships.
Thanks to you, Together Rising was able to invest $17,300 to fund a new coordinator position to do just that. The coordinator is devoted to asylum seekers from Central and South America, allowing them to provide ongoing support to at least 60 individuals. They also conduct intake of newly arrived refugee families, match them with appropriate local donor families, coordinate donation logistics and introductions between the families, and send donation reminders and address updates.
We wholeheartedly believe that when the world is hard to look at, a good place to switch your attention is towards the helpers. They are everywhere. And they are most certainly at New Neighbors Partnership.
Photo provided by New Neighbors Partnership, taken by Rathkoph Photography