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Help Welcome 51 Refugee Families

From SOMA Lounge on Facebook:

Hi Loungers – I have been following (and contributing to) the initiative of our local synagogues to help resettle a Syrian refugee family in our community, which has been so inspiring!

I’m reaching out because our Catholic archdiocese will be resettling 51 refugee families (mostly Syrian) in the Newark area in the coming months and they are looking to local communities to come join them in their efforts. I’ve been talking to the person coordinating these efforts – Maria BIancheri – who is eager to hear more from our community. It sounded like they weren’t specifically considering SOMA as a place for resettlement… but I assured her that any refugee family would find a very supportive and welcoming community here!

She is holding an information session on Tuesday, Jan 31 from 6-8:30 at Our Lady of Sorrows church, for anyone interested in helping out. She said the orientation is absolutely open to all, regardless of faith.

She sent me some examples of volunteer opportunities:

– Having a “virtual” housewarming where people bring donated items for a family
– Helping set up the apartment prior to arrival
– Cooking a meal (ethnically appropriate) for their first night of arrival
– Driving a refugee to an appointment (doctors, grocery shopping)
– (For those who speak their language) Accompanying the refugee to an appointment to translate
– Tutoring people (adults / children) – English
– Helping with resume writing / job search / interviewing

She is also very open to hearing new ideas from our community.

Here is Maria’s contact info if you want to get involved but can’t make the info session: 973-596-3985 or mbiancheri@ccannj.org .

She is also working on creating an online wish list for items the families will need, and I’ll post the link here when she does (if anyone is interested, and I’ll ask permission from the admins first).

Happy New Year

2017 will only be as good as we make it. Let’s be kind, be bold, be compassionate, be strong, accept one another, resist fascism and racism, live intentionally, think outside the box, stay focused, buy less and love more!! Let’s make 2017 what WE WANT it to be!

Kindness Advent Calendar

I came across this- where else- on Facebook. “Helen” has created a Kindness Advent Calendar on her blog “make today happy– finding the happy in the everyday little things”. Check it out, print it out, do kinds things- how easy is that!!! (Scroll to the bottom of her blog page to download the 2016 version.)

kindness-advent-calender

 

How to disagree- By the Kid President

We love this young social activist, Brad, who has been at it for 4 years! As he says, “Love changes everything. So fill the world with it.” Check out this video, which might be helpful for yourself, as well as your child!

 

 

 

Time to Give

What a great time to get together and help those in need. A group of West Orange residents gathered their children and made sandwiches for the homeless who live in and around Newark Penn Station.  Think of ways that you and your family can make a difference this holiday season and share with us!

 

Moore Love: Pass it On Program

This week, the non-profit organization Moore Love launched it kindness education program in all of the West Orange schools. Children are encouraged to do kind acts and then pass along their kindness card to that person and then on to the next, etc. What a way to illustrate to our children that kindness spreads and can affect each and every person it touches.

 

Prayer for Peace

By Lao-Tse

Submit more ideas to shannongattens1@gmail.com