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TRANSFIGURATION REFUGEE WELCOMING WEEKEND

Help us support the current efforts of Catholic Charities of Atlanta!
March 4 and 5



 The Holy Family was once a refugee family that resettled in a new country due to persecution in their original birthplace. Today, we, as Catholics, have an opportunity to practice our Faith, “Welcome the Stranger”, and assist other families with similar needs who are fleeing their homeland due to war or persecution.

We have a special opportunity to collaborate with the Archdiocese in their current efforts of servicing our most vulnerable. We ask each parish family coming to Mass on March 4/5, 2017 to consider bringing a household product to assist the Catholic Charities of Atlanta Refugee Resettlement Services. Suggested offerings include the following household products that are new or slightly used:

  • Twin bedding sets: sheets, pillowcases, comforter, pillow
  • Full bedding sets: sheets, pillowcases, comforter, pillow
  • Kitchen products: pots and pans, dishes, silverware, bakeware, rice cooker
  • Bathroom products: towels (all sizes), shower curtain/rings, bath rug

These offerings will be collected at Transfiguration before Mass, transported to Catholic Charities of Atlanta, and given to refugees who have been resettled in Georgia in their new home. Please consider participating as one way to practice our Faith and make Transfiguration a unique contributor to Catholic Charities of Atlanta.


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE WEEKEND AND REFUGEES

1. Who are Refugees?

Refugees are immigrants to the United States who are fleeing their homeland because of persecution and are invited by the American people. Refugees undergo the most rigorous background, security, and medical screens of any class of immigrants. Refugees represent some of the most vulnerable, but resilient, members of society.

In 2016, over 313 refugees from countries such as Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan and others were resettled by Catholic Charities Atlanta. Over 20 staff members, fluent in 21 different languages, provided services to meet the specific needs of each family and start them on a road to independence.

Click here to read the story of Grace Dar Lin

Click here to read the story of the Fatime family

Click here to read the story of the Pa Bo Lah family

2. What Services do the Catholic Charities of Atlanta Resettlement Services Provide?

Catholic Charities Atlanta provides Refugee Resettlement Services to refugee families arriving in the Atlanta area. The extensive resettlement services are designed to aid refugees to achieve economic and social self- sufficiency in their first few months in the United States. CCA also provides needed support services in the areas of employment, home management, crisis intervention, financial literacy, and medical assistance to refugees who have been living in the United States for less than five years.

The Success rate for Catholic Charities of Atlanta Resettlement Services Group has been very good. 92% of Catholic Charities Atlanta’s refugee clients are self-sufficient within 6 months of arrival.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta is very supportive of the efforts of the Catholic Charities of Atlanta regarding refugee resettlement and has produced a short video to provide the faith rationale as to why Catholics should be supportive. Please click here to see the video.

3. What is the Screening Process for Refugees Coming into the United States?

Unlike other immigrants into the United States the screening process starts with a designation from a United Nations Sub-Group. The prospective Refugee must demonstrate that he/she/family are subject to persecution in their homeland due to political or religious bias or exposed to life threats due to active war before being designated a refugee. There are eleven check points in all making up the screening process before the refugee would find themselves in the Atlanta Area. Please review the entire process by clicking here.

There is also a short video produced by Homeland Security about the Screening Process. Click here to see that video.

4. Are there opportunities to volunteer your personal time to assist the Resettlement Services towards Refugees?

There are several opportunities to volunteer. Some are listed below. Feel free to call Catholic Charities of Atlanta at 404-920-7785 for more information

  • Become a mentor to a refugee youth or volunteer as an academic tutor for refugee children
  • Be a “Strong Back for Refugee” volunteer and help us move furniture into apartments for arriving families.
  • Be a “Family Friend” to a newly arrived family.
5. How easy is it to find employment within the Atlanta Area for Refugees?

Refugees are welcomed by many Georgia’s largest industries, such as poultry processing, manufacturing, warehousing, tourism, and hospitality. Initially refugees tend to work in entry-level jobs, often during the second and third shift in sectors where there are current labor shortages due to native workers’ disinterest in those jobs and shifts.

6. Why is Transfiguration involved with this Collection Weekend for Refugees in the middle of a Refugee moratorium issued on January 27 through a Presidential Executive Order?

The Presidential Executive Order is a complex issuance on many aspects of refugee resettlement in the United States. The moratorium that is referenced in the newspapers largely pertains to a period of 120 days from the date of the issuance of the executive order. This would mean that by the end of the month of May 2017, the moratorium would be over for most refugees other than those from Syria or selected countries.

Therefore, there will be a pent up demand for resettlement materials as the flow of refugees will be reinstated. The Transfiguration ”Refugee Welcoming Weekend” is well positioned to assist the Catholic Charities of Atlanta Refugee Resettlement Services Group with materials for the refugees once the resettlement flow is reinstituted.

The Catholic Charities of Atlanta responded to the Presidential Executive Order with a press release issued on January 31, 2017. To read the full text click here.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a press release on January 30, 2017 addressing the executive order on refugees. To read about it please click here.