Before giving an update on LexRAP, it is important to understand the ramifications of the Trump administration’s executive order that will be in effect as of March 16th. All refugee resettlement in the U.S. is suspended for 120 days, to examine what additional screening should be implemented. Also, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. is to be cut in half from 100,000 to 50,000. What this essentially means is that the resettlement of refugees in the US is halted. People awaiting papers to come here are stuck where they are. Funds to all agencies for resettlement are stopped. Agencies will have to close offices, cut personnel and have a reduction of services to people who recently arrived. This means that the agencies are scrambling to raise money to offset the loss of funds from the government and the families here need help. Below you will see LexRAP initiatives to help people who are here with many ways to volunteer and many opportunities to support agencies with fund raisers in the area. Some of the fund raisers will provide aid to LexRAP and 100% of these monies directly go to support refugees in our area.
Our Steering Committee meets monthly. These meetings for those people most actively involved and those who want to explore becoming actively involved! The next meeting of the Steering Committee is Thursday April 13 at 7:15PM Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Rd – room 217.
(Please come early to meet new people.)
Marianne and Don
Active LexRAP Activities
Fostering Unaccompanied Minors
LexRAP is hosting three meetings with Ascentria to recruit foster families for unaccompanied minors. These meeting will be held at Lexington Community Center 39 Marrett Road in Lexington from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Here are the dates and times:
April 6 (Room 221), May 4 (Room 217) and June 8
Contact Bruce for more information.
There are some refugee families that are at risk of ending up in homeless shelters. We're in contact with one such family right now. Do you have an in-law apartment and be willing to host a family? A six month commitment should be considered to help stabilize the family. There are many things to consider regarding hosting: language, schools, jobs, access to transportation, etc. To discuss, contact Marianne
We are launching a tutoring group for a Syrian family in Carlisle. We are using the model created for the Iraqi family in Lexington where each child will have a tutor and specialists will augment those tutors. Tutoring will take place in the home and the school. The group will work directly with the public schools. The children only recently started in Carlisle and are excited and feel welcomed by the community. The smiles on the kids faces as they get off the bus from their new school are wonderful. To see the Channel 4, CBS, news story on this: click here.
LexRAP will be doing two presentation, “How do refugees get to the U.S and what is LexRAP doing to help with their resettlement?” One is on March 26, at Sacred Heart Parish and the other on April 07 at 9:30AM at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington for the First Friday Event sponsored by the Lexington League of Women Voters. If you have a group or a faith based organization that would like a presentation contact Tom. See the PowerPoint presentation, here.
Upcoming Opportunities to Tutor
Families with both parents and kids needing ESL
Helping unaccompanied minors with homework and enrichment. If interested in tutoring OR you speak Arabic.
One of the things we have learned is that when families arrive, often the children have had dramatic disruptions in their education. The needs are both ESL and basic academic instruction. We are looking to find or create instruction for students with interrupted formal education (SIFE). If you have access to materials or knowledge and experience in this area, contact Alexandra.
We received 26 laptops in our laptop drive! Staples gave us a grant which we used to buy some parts. The laptops were given to minors both in the Ascentria program and in refugee families. We are still looking laptops to refurbish. You can find the specs for laptops on our events page. You can Contact Jane to donate.
If you are interested in helping to organize dinners to welcome refugee families, this is an opportunity for locals and guests to socialize and mingle. Contact Jilana
Help with Keeping our Website Up-to-Date. Contact Amantha
"FUNraising" for LexRAP and our Partner Agencies Patriot’s Day Pancake Breakfast. Monday April 19, 2016 - 6:00 AM until 10:00 AM Please come join us at the Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam Street, Lexington for the annual Patriots’ Day Pancake Breakfast. Church of Our Redeemer will be giving all proceeds to LexRAP to support refugees. Share fun, fellowship and a great breakfast of pancakes, sausages, juice, hot chocolate and coffee. $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids.
Fundraiser for Jewish Refugee Organization
A Wicked Pickers concert to benefit the non-profit HIAS ! Guided by Jewish values and experience, HIAS has protected refugees and displaced persons throughout the world for 130 years, helping them to build new lives in safety and with dignity. The ACLU sought HIAS to serve as one of just two plaintiffs in a suit just filed (2/6) against Donald Trump’s Executive Order, challenging the constitutionality of banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority Muslim countries on the grounds that it discriminates against one religion while favoring others. Bring a check made out to HIAS and we will ensure you receive a receipt for tax purposes. Refreshments will be available. Come listen or dance, we'd love to see you there! Sat, March 18, 2017 ...7:00 PM – 10:30 PM The Barn, 293 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA
Monroe Center Fundraiser
There will be a Fall fundraiser for LexRAP sponsored by Munroe Center for the Arts Sept. 2017. Artists and musicians and storytellers will create a performance with a focus on refugee issues. If you would like to help, Contact Bruce or Amantha
Walk for Refugees
Join the RIM (Refugee Immigration Ministry) Walk for Refugees This year's Walk for Refugees with be held May 20, 2017 at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA. Gathering and Registration will begin at 9:30am with the walk starting promptly at 10:00am. To register for the walk, you can download a registration form here. or sign up online You can also download a pledge sheet here. Donations pledged by LexRAP walkers will go straight to LexRAP! Organizing for the LexRAP group are Abdu and Peter
Fundraiser for IINE
Suitcase Stories: Fundraiser for IINE (International Institute of New England). Story telling (similar to Moth Radio Hour ).
April 05, Umbrella Community Arts Center, Concord. (tickets $35.-$200)
May 7, Regent Theatre in Arlington, June 1, Lowell.
June 22, Needham.
If you know of grant sources for funds, we are interested in providing no interest loans to refugees for retraining and education. Contact Pat Moyer
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Please tell anyone you know who cares about the fate and well-being of the thousands of refugees currently living in our area about LexRAP to learn about the work that we do.
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