Members of Wilmington Yearly Meeting (WYM) of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) recently had a project to support Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban and are settling in the greater Cincinnati area.
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio is one of the agencies helping with the Afghans’ resettlement, and the Wilmington Yearly Meeting’s Board of Christian Concerns for Peace and Society chose to team up with Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio to facilitate WYM’s related project.
Mary Ann Raizk, chair of the WYM Board of Christian Concerns for Peace and Society, said the project was a huge success.
Donations of household items filled a pickup truck plus a car, and were delivered Jan. 27 to the Catholic Charities’ warehouse in Cincinnati.
The Quakers board had been discussing what could be done to help the situation of immigrants in the United States, said Raizk.
“The members wanted to do something action-oriented. They discovered that about 850 Afghan immigrants were being relocated to Ohio and about 50 to the greater Cincinnati area,” Raizk said.
Upon talking with Dan Sarell, director of mission advancement at Catholic Charities, they found there were many ways to help.
Friends meetings (churches) in the region collected items to fill a welcome basket for different areas of a home, for instance things needed to supply a kitchen, a bedroom, or a bathroom. The donations are then given to a family when Catholic Charities finds them a home or an apartment to rent.
Several Friends meetings and individuals also donated money to the cause.
“The members of Wilmington Yearly Meeting felt blessed to be able to help serve these vulnerable new neighbors as one with Christ in the world,” said Raizk.
Wilmington Yearly Meeting includes two Quaker churches in Cincinnati, in addition to congregations in Clinton, Highland and Greene Counties, and a couple in Tennessee.
For more information on how you can help Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio in its work with Afghans’ resettlement, go to their website www.ccswoh.org .