Can you give your time to help a family feel at home in a new country?
It is our privilege and duty as God’s people to follow His example in loving and welcoming strangers. The resettlement program works in collaboration with local churches, volunteers, and service providers to ensure refugee families a safe and smooth transition into their new home in West Michigan.
In October of 1998 Bethany Christian Services resettlement program was approved to do reception and placement by becoming a Michigan resettlement affiliate of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS-IRP) , one of ten voluntary agencies that contract with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees in the United States.
The resettlement program assists refugee families in the process of resettling in West Michigan. We work with families for the first six months they are in the country, doing everything from meeting them at the airport and providing them a place to live to bringing them to doctor's appointments, providing language training and helping them find a job. The goal is to provide a safe new community for refugee families where they will be able to thrive as self-sufficient, contributing members of society.
There are many opportunities, especially for volunteers, to help families resettle in West Michigan.
Volunteer Opportunities with the Refugee Resettlement Program:
- New Neighbor Program: The New Neighbor Program provides friendship, advice, and serves as a cultural bridge for adult refugees who are dealing with questions of how to live in the US. Local volunteers commit to 3 months of assistance.
- ESL Tutoring: Bethany believes that English is the tools to success in the resettlement process. All our clients are put into an ESL class upon arrival, but to take that a step further, we offer The English Tutoring Program. This program provides a one-on-one tutor for an adult refugee to assist in improving his or her competency in using English.
- Bus Training: Taking the bus for the first time can be scary for a native English speaker, so imagine what it is like for newly resettled refugees. Our Bus Training Program helps refugee clients become self-sufficient in their transportation.
- Airport Greeting: This is usually the role of a church co-sponsor. When a refugee family arrives in Grand Rapids after long a stressful flight, Bethany likes to welcome them with lots of support and support. Church volunteers wait at the airport with signs and other welcoming tools and help transport the family to their new home.
For volunteer information or general questions, please contact us at GRrefugee@bethany.org
Cash donations to our Welcoming Strangers Fund helps us welcome families and is always needed and appreciated!
We also gladly accept items on behalf of our clients. We can pick up furniture items within a 25-minute vicinity of our Grand Rapids office.
To donate, please contact us at 616.284.3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.