In September, the United Methodist Foundation of New England (UMFNE) and NE Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) teamed up to create The Afghan Neighbor Fund, a matching fund to assist the International Institute of New England (IINE) in receiving and settling the first new arrivals from Afghanistan in New England. The Fund was designed to provide a short-term contribution to settling the new arrivals in the critical period before any kind of public assistance is available.
Last week, UMFNE President Rev. Ted Crass and JFON President Rev. Gary Richards presented a check for $36,975 to the IINE on behalf of all New England United Methodists.
“We are so grateful for the faithful responses of those who have contributed to assist these first Afghan arrivals in New England, and we are pleased to partner with the International Institute,” said Ted Crass.
As the Fund is winding up, the donation comprised all funds received to date, including unused matching funds contributed by UMFNE and JFON. Any donations that are received at the UMFNE office since the presentation will be forwarded to IINE in the name of the Fund (and be effectively “matched” by funds contributed).
Eventually, Afghans are likely to be re-settled in all New England states. Accordingly, all UM churches seeking to engage with the next Afghan arrivals are encouraged to donate locally to the agencies who will be settling Aghans in their region. The agencies for each state will also have requirements for furnishings and will publicize these as needed.
Churches should work with your local agencies to welcome new arrivals, and a list of those organizations who handle refugee matters and may be involved in settling Afghans are as follows:
Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants: https://cirict.org/
Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services: https://irisct.org/
Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services: https://www.ccmaine.org/refugee-immigration-services
Ascentria Care Alliance (Worcester and Springfield): www.ascentria.org
Catholic Charities of Boston: www.ccab.org
Catholic Charities of Springfield: www.diospringfield.org/Ministries/cca/
International Institute of New England (Boston and Lowell): https://iine.org/#
Jewish Family Services of Metrowest: www.jfsmw.org
Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts: www.jfswm.org
Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (Boston and Worcester): www.riacboston.org
Ascentria Care Alliance: www.ascentria.org
International Institute of New England: https://iine.org/#
Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island: https://diiri.org/
Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence: https://dioceseofprovidence.org/immigration-refugee-services
USCRI – Vermont: https://refugees.org/uscri-vermont/