Volunteers seeking support for new refugees from Afghanistan

Above: Residents volunteering in coordination with a Southborough church are seeking community support for two Afghan refugees. (image cropped from their SignUp Genius page)

You may have read news I shared in December of Southborough residents seeking donations and volunteers to help a family from Afghanistan. Today, I received similar call for help, but it’s not for the same refugees.

Some residents are part of a local volunteer group working with St. Matthew’s Parish and Catholic Charities of Boston under the POWIR Program*.

Southborough volunteer Diana Jones reached out hoping to find support from blog readers. They are looking for financial contributions, donated items, and/or volunteer time. She explained:

we are organizing efforts to help assimilate, provide housing and financial support for two Afghan refugees that are settling in our local area.

The POWIR Program provides a modest apartment furnished with basic necessities, assistance with acculturation, job placement services, and English language training. Along with this critical assistance, refugees receive compassion, understanding and positive reassurance from the POWIR Group volunteers to help in the attainment of independence and self-sufficiency.

So far, we have raised over $8,000 against our goal of $20,000 and we need the benevolence of our community to reach our goal in raising an additional $12,000. These funds will provide support for the next 12 – 18 months. With their basic needs covered they can focus on the process of adjusting to their new surroundings and becoming active participants in their communities.

Additionally, in the next few weeks, we will be welcoming goods and furniture, clothing, and looking for additional volunteers. If you would like to be added to our distribution list to be kept abreast of other ways you can help, please add your name and email address here.

All donations are tax deductible and checks should be made out and mailed to St. Matthew Parish, c/o POWIR Group, 105 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772.

*POWIR stands for The Parishes Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees, a program under the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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