Birmingham Welcomes Refugee Family

$1,220 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 20 days
Created January 30, 2019

The Birmingham Interfaith Refugee Ministry (BIRM), is sponsoring an asylum-seeking family from Angola, Africa, and we are asking for your financial support in extending our shared southern hospitality.

The Birmingham Interfaith Refugee Ministry was formed in 2016 to provide support, education, and advocacy for refugees in Birmingham and around the world. We are an interfaith team including over 100 members from local faith communities including Birmingham Friends Meeting (Quakers), Birmingham Shambhala Meditation Center, Catholic Social Services, Edgewood Presbyterian Church, Hoover Crescent Islamic Society, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

We invite you to join us in helping to grow Birmingham as an inclusive and welcoming community as we resettle a second refugee family. Our first sponsorship, in 2017, was a family from Columbia. Leida and her daughter and son have now successfully resettled in the Birmingham area. This week, another family will arrive to the Birmingham area and we can’t wait to welcome and support her and her children.
Chandra* and her daughters, ages 9 and 6, entered our country legally through the southern border with almost nothing and have been staying in the Casa Marianella shelter in Austin Texas since January 26. Unfortunately, her third child, an adopted daughter, only 7-years-old, is being held in detention at this time. Our hearts are heavy with the news of the adoptive daughter’s separation from the family and we are anxious to secure their reunion. We would love to share a photo of the family, but for their safety we must restrain ourselves from sharing online.  

The Birmingham Interfaith Refugee Ministry, with your help, will be providing housing, furniture, food, clothing, and immigration attorney/legal assistance for the family. Additionally, we have volunteers ready to provide transportation and translation assistance. Our goal is to provide everything that the family needs for 6-12 months, until Chandra* is able to secure a work permit and provide financially for her family. Additionally, we consulted with an immigration lawyer, and unless we are able to secure a pro-bono lawyer, the estimated fees will be anywhere from $5,000-20,000 to reunite this family. We will update with news about that process as it unfolds. Donations in excess of this family’s immediate resettlement needs will be reserved for the specific purpose of supporting additional refugee families in the future.

Donations are tax deductible. In addition to donating through go-fund-me, money may be sent directly to the Refugee Interest Group by way of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.

You may also choose to make a check out to UUCB or Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham and again, be sure to put in the memo line: “Refugee Fund”. 

Address for direct-donation checks:

Refugee Fund
Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham
4300 Hampton Heights
Birmingham, AL 35209

Thank you for helping to make a difference in the life of this family.

* = name changed for privacy.

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UPDATE: Chandra* and daughters arrived very late last night (2/1/19 @3:30AM!!!) via greyhound bus and are settling in with host family. HAPPY NEWS!!! We have secured an immigration attorney out of Huntsville who has agreed to take the case pro-bono. Chandra* meets with him on Tuesday. Per one of our groups coordinators: "We don't know where the child is presently. We understand that it could be anywhere in the country. She is in the hands of the Office for Refugee Resettlement, considered an unaccompanied minor. We understand that it could take up to a year to reunite the family but we are determined to make that happen."
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$1,220 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 20 days
Created January 30, 2019
Funds raised will benefit:
Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham
Certified Charity
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Birmingham, AL
EIN: 630586537
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