Refugee Project Update

Literacy Fundraising Campaign

Last month we launched a fundraising campaign to support language acquisition programming for the members of our refugee families. The campaign is going very well. So far we have raised over $8,000 to support three new literacy initiatives! Thank you so much to everyone who has already contributed. Look for an email soon with information about upcoming training sessions for current and new language tutors and for further updates on our new language programming!

Abercrombie & Fitch Gives Back

We’re very pleased to announce that the Hyde Park Refugee Project was one of several nonprofit organizations selected to receive thousands of dollars’ worth of new clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch. Stylists from the clothing company selected items for all seasons for our refugee family members. We’re grateful to Refugee Project volunteer Melinda Deegan who alerted us to this opportunity and spearheaded the effort. Thank you, Melinda, and thank you Abercrombie & Fitch!

Donation requests

For the most part our families’ needs have been well-met and we are not currently accepting general household donations. But we do have a few specific requests! If you’re able to donate one or more of the items below, please let us know right away!

-window air conditioning units
-a strong box for securing important documents
-a gently used couch
-bikes (children and adult sizes)
-bike locks
-new or gently used bike helmets
-small side tables

Volunteer Opportunities

Tutors: To make the most of the summer months we are expanding our tutoring team. No previous experience is necessary. Training and materials will be provided. If you’re interested, let us know right away!

Childcare: To enable the adults and older children to concentrate on their in-home language instruction, we need volunteers to play with and supervise the youngest members of the families. If you’d like to help out in this way, let us know!

Assist with appointments: Our families are progressing toward self-sufficiency but in some cases they require assistance when attending medical or administrative appointments. We are looking for volunteers who can accompany the family members to appointments, complete necessary paperwork, and convey relevant information to the family coordinator. If you’re interested in helping out in this way, send us an email with (a) your general daytime availability, (b) your level of comfort navigating public transportation, and (c) your ability to drive the family members to appointments not easily reached by train or bus.

Translators: If you speak Arabic and are willing to provide occasional translation (in person or by phone), please let us know!

Upcoming Event: Arts in Action

On Saturday, June 3rd at 5pm, the Goodman Theatre will host Arts in Action, a panel discussion featuring organizations working with refugees and immigrants living in Chicagoland, including RefugeeOne, Syrian Community Network, American Relief Coalition for Syria, Latinos Progresando, and the Hyde Park Refugee Project.

The discussion will be moderated by Henry Wishcamper, Goodman Theatre director and Hyde Park Refugee Project volunteer, and will explore the complex issues confronting refugees and immigrants as they build new lives in Chicago and describe the breadth of work being done to support them. The event is free and open to all. We hope to see many of you there! Learn more and register here!