Who are Refugees? Refugees are people who were forced to leave their home countries due to conflict, persecution or fear of persecution. There are over 21 million refugees in the world. The majority live in unstable and even unsafe conditions. Only about 1% will ever be eligible for refugee resettlement to a third country like the United States. The US accepts about 70,000 refugees every year. For more on refugees, see: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/refugees.html.
Information: The Refugee Welcome Team was started by Covenant Church in 2015. We moved under the Connect Community Center organization in December of 2016 in order to be open to other churches’ participation. The team partners with InterFaith Refugee Ministries (http://helpingrefugees.org/) in New Bern, NC, a refugee resettlement agency, in order to work with refugee individuals and families newly arriving to Pitt County.
Ways to Get Involved:
- Donate gently used furniture or household items for a newly arriving family. Specially needed items: full and queen size beds (complete with mattress and box spring), dishes, and pots and pans.
- Provide a storage space for donated items.
- Donate gift cards for Walmart or grocery stores.
- Prepare a warm meal for the family when they first arrive.
- Help provide transportation to important appointments.
- Assist with building job skills and applying for work.
- Assist with English language learning through tutoring and conversation.
- Provide community orientation and support.
- Build a friendship that could last a lifetime.
If you would like more information about the Refugee Welcome Team, please contact Sarah M. Reed, Local Outreach Coordinator at Covenant Church, at sarahr[at]covenant.cc.
If you are ready to register to help with newly arriving refugees, please complete the registration form here.