by Gracie Barney, Development & Communications Manager
“…I was a stranger and you invited me in.” – MATTHEW 25:35
“Arrivals.” When most of us hear this word, we immediately think of the blinking electronic billboard at the airport that tracks airline departures and arrivals. This word has a different meaning for us at Catholic Charities. “Arrivals” are the refugees that we greet at the airport as we help them to start a new life.
No one ever pictures themselves packing up their lives, fleeing their homes, and boarding a plane to start over in a new country. This is the reality for many refugees, including the hundreds of thousands of Afghans who fled for their lives as the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan.
Catholic Charities of Onondaga County recently took on the challenge of resettling 200 Afghan refugees in Syracuse. Our Refugee Resettlement team is stretched to the limit and that’s why I’m writing to you today. Since September, we have welcomed and settled 120 Afghan families and individuals in and around Syracuse. We need your help.
Many of our arrivals had to flee their homes with just the clothes on their backs. They have arrived in our country to create a new home with minimal possessions and few comforts. Our staff is working tirelessly to find and furnish apartments, enroll children in school, and help adults find jobs. It will take weeks, months, possibly years for refugees to fully resettle and recover from the trauma and fear of fleeing. The hard work is just beginning.
Our work at Catholic Charities of Onondaga County cannot be done without support from people like you. Because of your generosity, we are able to serve nearly 19,000 vulnerable, poor, and disenfranchised people in our community. Please make a donation so we can create hope and transform lives together.