CEH has the opportunity to welcome our new neighbors by volunteering with NoVA RAFT (Resettling Afghan Families Together). NoVA RAFT is a grassroots group supporting Afghan refugees with many different needs as they resettle in Northern VA. Often they act quickly to meet immediate needs. They are able to do this by using their very active Facebook group.
Several CEH members went last week to help with two homes set-ups in Alexandria and reported a fantastic, educational and moving experience.
CEH will offer various opportunities to help, and as we learn more about the needs, we can change or add other opportunities. We encourage CEH members to either volunteer directly through NoVA RAFT or through the CEH-organized activities described below –
- CEH will hold donation drives throughout the year for gift cards, furniture or “kits” (cleaning supplies, linens, kitchen supplies, etc.
- If you prefer to donate money for refugee needs, please send your donations to the office and note that it’s for the Social Action fund for the Afghan refugees. If you prefer to do it online, please choose the Social Action Fund and in the dedication box note that it’s for the Afghan refugees.
Donations will be used to purchase specific items that NoVA RAFT needs.
- Volunteering for Home Set-Ups with NoVA RAFT – Please send your name, email address and cell phone number to Paula (email@example.com) if you’d like to be on a list of CEH volunteers who could possibly be available for home set-ups, sometimes at short notice (*see below for some information about home set-ups).
- Feel free to explore the NoVA RAFT Facebook page if you have furniture to donate or want to order items for refugee families from their Amazon or Walmart wish lists.
- The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing expects to have several families move into APAH apartments in the near future. CEH also hopes to partner with APAH to help those families, perhaps with transportation, mentoring, and other ongoing needs.
Thank you for your interest!
The CEH Social Action Committee
Though each home set-up is different, here is some basic information on what to expect:
- It may take approximately 3-4 hours
- Homes are often in the Alexandria and Woodbridge areas so expect quite a bit of driving
- People with daytime hours are needed
- People with the ability to lift and move furniture are always needed, but anyone can help with a variety of tasks
- People with large vehicles or trucks especially needed for moving furniture
- Flexibility is key!