• Raeann Mason

Let's Welcome an Afghan Family!

Updated: Jan 23




In 2022, 500-600 families who fled Afghanistan last summer will be resettling in Massachusetts. A newly formed Neighborhood Support Team (NST) from our congregation is working with a local resettlement agency, Ascentria, to support one of these families. This team, the Family Connect Belmont NST, emerged over the holidays, when we learned of two families – a brother, a sister, and their respective spouses and children – who were able to get out of Afghanistan at the same time, only to be relocated to two separate military bases and told that the brother’s family would be resettled in Arlington, MA, while the sister’s family would go to California. Recognizing the deep distress caused by this separation, Family Connect Belmont NST has started to galvanize a group of volunteers, raised initial required funds, and received approval for the sister’s family to resettle in Arlington as well.


Last week, we secured an apartment for the sister’s family and are now preparing the apartment for the Sulaimanis – a mother, father, daughter (7), and two sons (11 and 16) – to move in on January 15th.


PLEASE CONSIDER HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT THE SULAIMANI FAMILY AS THEY ADAPT TO THIS NEW COUNTRY. WE URGENTLY NEED THE FOLLOWING.


  1. Financial support for essential items that people are unable to donate (household goods, clothing, computers for school, etc.). Please consider what you can contribute here:

https://secure.givelively.org//donate/ascentria-care-alliance/help-afghan-families/margaret-dunn-4


  1. People who can join our team of volunteers to offer ongoing support as the family integrates into the community. To learn where help is needed, contact Eva Patalas, e.patalas@me.com.


  1. New or “gently used” clothing. Contact Rusty Stieff, rstieff@gmail.com , who can provide a list of needed items and appropriate sizes.


As we begin to work with this newly arrived family, we join them in their concern for the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, where many of their friends and relatives remain.

Please consider donating to The UN World Food Program.


On behalf of Family Connect Belmont NST, we welcome your joining us.


Eva Patalas, Margaret Dunn, Gabby Garschina-Bobrow

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