By: Billie K. Fidlin, Director of Outreach & Justice
Many of our churches have asked how they might help people who are seeking asylum. The following article first appeared in the Arizona Faith Network’s newsletter. The Arizona Faith Network is a ministry partner of our conference. Housed at the Conference Center AFN structurally falls under our Churches United in Inter-religious Relationships, and sits in the Conference Board of Church & Society, represented by Gina Pollard.
How you can help:
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) Phoenix Welcome Center (WC) for people seeking asylum urgently needs your help with donations of socks, t-shirts, and underwear.
Refugee arrivals at the Welcome Center often arrive with only the clothes they are wearing. They typically stay one to two days before they leave to join their sponsors in other parts of the country. While at the Welcome Center they are offered showers, a change of clothing, meals, and a place to sleep. It is not unusual to receive over 200 asylum seekers per day as they are released from ICE and other entities resulting in a need for many items. Currently, we have a significant need for socks, underwear, and t-shirts.
The Welcome Center is staffed by operated by the IRC Phoenix; it is supported by a large collaboration of community groups and faith communities for its daily operational resources.
Examples of items needed include:
New Men’s crew socks or tube socks, sizes small and medium (any color including white)
New or gently used Men’s t-shirts, sizes small and medium (any color including white)
New Men’s underwear, sizes small and medium (briefs or boxers)
Inexpensive purchase options for these items can be found at https://yourshoppingdepot.com/
Groups can collect items for pickup or deliver them directly to the Welcome Center. Please contact Anna Keating for instructions for dropping off items or to arrange for a pickup by a volunteer:
Monetary donations are also most welcome and volunteers will use cash/check donations to make the appropriate purchases. You can donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/avakhu-refugee-aid or mail a contribution to: Refugee Aid-SWHF, PO Box 1863 Scottsdale, AZ 85252