by Gracie Barney, Development & Communications Manager
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” – Hebrews 13:2
For the past 40 years, refugee resettlement has been a pillar of service for Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. We have welcomed thousands of families and individuals to Syracuse. Our staff and volunteers are the first faces many refugees see once they arrive; we are among the first helping hands to offer immediate comfort and relief.
The call to help Afghans currently in Afghanistan who are homeless, separated, and fearing for their lives is deafening. Around 125,000 Afghans have been evacuated, and the United States hopes to expatriate 50,000. Catholic Charities has committed to resettling 200 of our Afghan brothers and sisters to Syracuse. We are working closely with our partners – New York State and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – to determine next steps and provide support.
To open your hearts and homes to a stranger speaks to the love our community has for those most in need. We are humbled by the wave of support by our community to welcome and support newly arrive refugees. In recent days, we have been asked, “how can I help?” During uncertain times, we ask for prayer. Please pray for all Afghans who are seeking refugee, for their families, friends, and loved ones.
While we are unsure of when arrivals of Afghan refugees will begin, we do know that when they arrive, they will have immediate needs. We are building a flexible fund to address these needs. Needs like finding affordable housing, first month’s rent, and basic need items for individuals and families who needed to flee.