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TRANSFIGURATION REFUGEE WELCOMING WEEKEND MARCH 16 and 17

Help us support the current efforts of Catholic Charities of Atlanta!


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, religious or political persecution and coming to the Atlanta Area.

This year Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA) has expanded its needs not only to include family bedding, bathroom, and kitchen household items; but also materials associated with children daycare and afterschool care activities. Children materials would include pens, pencils, erasers, backpacks, glue sticks, sharpeners, kids’ socks and diapers and more. Specific items and sizes can be found by clicking on the needs button below.  

To those of you who have contributed in past years, many thanks are offered and a heart filled request to participate once again in this year’s Refugee Welcoming Weekend. To those of you who have not yet become involved in this outreach; we ask you to prayerfully consider 2019 as your year to become involved. This outreach fits nicely into the Christian Lenten Season.  If you have questions about refugees vetting process or other similar issues; please click on the buttons of interest to you found below.  

These offerings will be collected at Transfiguration before each Mass on March 16 & 17, transported to CCA, and given to the refugees who are being resettled in Georgia. Make this Refugee Welcoming Weekend one of your Lenten commitments.


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE WEEKEND AND REFUGEES

1. What are the specific needs requested by Catholic Charities of Atlanta

Click Here to view a list of specific needed items.

2. Who are Refugees? How are Refugees different than other immigrants coming into our country?

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/biometric screens of any class of immigrants. All risk databases of US Agencies are searched before the migrants are considered refugees.

Refugees represent some of the most vulnerable, but resilient, members of society.

In FY 2017, 280 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 19 different languages, provided services to meet the specific needs of each family and start them on a road to independence.
Besides Refugees other different types of immigrants could be: asylum seekers; student migrants on VISA's; adult migrants on work VISA's; Day work migrants who cross our southern border every day for a job in the USA only to cross the border again at night to go back home; and undocumented immigrants who cross the border without papers or vetting. Of all of these immigrants, refugees are the most vetted and take the longest time before being allowed to enter the country. (On average 10-15 years)

Refugees entered the country through airports and not by foot across any of the borders of the USA.Refugee Welcoming 2019 Photo Q2.jpg

3. What is the “Share the Journey” Campaign started last year by Pope Francis?

Pope Francis began the two year, global Share the Journey Campaign on September 27, 2017 to support our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes to seek a decent and safe life for their families.

The Holy Father is calling us to inspire friends and loved ones by shaping conversations and actions to answer the Gospel call to love one's neighbor. This act of compassion and support toward refugees in the metro Atlanta area is one way that Parishioners at Transfiguration Catholic Church are Sharing the Journey with those in need. Click Here to find out more.

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4. What do the Catholic Charities 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 months in the United States. 92% of CCA clients are self-sufficient within 6 months of arrival. 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.

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5. 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 checkpoints in all making up the screening process before the refugee would find themselves in the Atlanta Area.

There is also a short video produced by NPR about the Screening Process. Click Here to see that video.

6. What is the current political environment and how is that affecting CCA’s ability to resettle refugees?

In Federal Fiscal Year 2018, Catholic Charities Atlanta welcomed 100 new refugees to the United States and our metro Atlanta community. While this number is low in comparison to years' past, the program continues to be vital to those who are fleeing persecution and war around the world. In Federal Fiscal Year 2019, the President of the United States has set the refugee admissions ceiling at 30,000 refugee arrivals. This is the lowest number admissions ceiling since the Refugee Act of 1980 was passed by Congress. Actual FY2019 refugee admissions, however, are currently on track to be slightly higher than they were in FY2018. This is encouraging news, and we hope that the trend continues.

The refugee program is built around welcoming those who have fled persecution to a new home, and a new life, in America. Despite the reduction in new families arriving, Catholic Charities Atlanta remains dedicated to serving all who arrive as well as those families and individuals who are already here to the highest standards. We continue to need donations of household items, furniture, children daycare and afterschool care activities, and other basic living essentials for those we serve. With the support that we receive from the community, our work offers mercy, treats all with dignity, and helps those we serve to transform their lives toward a bright, successful future.

Click Here to read an article from National Catholic Reporter on the current situation

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

Our dedicated volunteers help make these opportunities happen. Here are ways to get involved:

  • Become a Family Literacy Volunteer and help a recently arrived refugee family learn English and adjust to their new life in Atlanta
  • Be a "Strong Back for Refugees" volunteer and help us move
  • furniture into apartments for arriving families
  • Volunteer with our afterschool program at Indian Creek Elementary School
  • Talk to us about internships for college students
  • Help a refugee prepare for their first job by becoming a "Job Coach"

For more information, please call Kim Longshore at 678-222-3964.