What if you were forced to leave your home and flee by foot to avoid harassment, violence, or threats to your life? Imagine spending a decade of your life warehoused in a camp on the border of your country unable to return home. Consider the excitement and fear that you might feel if told you had a chance to start life afresh in a far away country. Imagine arriving in Memphis with little ability to speak English, understand the currency system, or navigate the bus system.
This is the reality of dozens of refugees who have been sent to Memphis. World Relief Memphis, a refugee resettlement agency that has just opened its doors in the city in August 2012, will receive over one hundred people this year fleeing persecution in countries such as Bhutan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Iraq. World Relief’s role is to provide affordable housing, employment services, and social services enrollment all in an effort to help refugees achieve self sufficiency within eight months. This is a daunting task and cannot be accomplished without the support of the local community!
On December 11 and 13, World Relief will be hosting its first Stock the Storage Unit Party. One of World Relief’s responsibilities as a resettlement agency is to furnish the apartments of refugee clients prior to their arrival. In an attempt to stretch the federal dollars allocated to the refugees, they collect donations to fill their first apartment in America.
This holiday season World Relief is having a special push to collect household items and furniture to have on hand for future apartment setups. You can drop off donations in the parking lot behind World Relief’s office at the following times:
December 11: Between 11 am – 2 pm OR December 13: Between 4:00 – 6:30 pm
So plan to swing by during your lunch break or after work and enjoy some Christmas music and tasty treats!
World Relief Memphis is located at Union Avenue Baptist Church, 2181 Union Avenue Memphis, TN 38104. The parking lot is directly behind the church. Donations will be collected on the side of the parking lot closest to Summit Street. Look for the directional signs and decorations!
Also, plan on taking care of some of your holiday shopping early by making a purchase from Ekata Designs, jewelry handmade locally by refugee women.
For more information, contact World Relief’s Volunteer Coordinator/Church Mobilizer, Kate Foster, at (901) 341-0225 or check out the event website.