In just 60 seconds, you can make all the difference for a Rohingya* family of 7 refugees who have never known a welcoming home. Chicago is their last stop. There is no "next place" for them.
My family was introduced to these refugees via the Rohingya Cultural Center in Chicago (such centers are outlawed across their native land). We are trying to soften their landing here.
By chipping in for one or more of the few items that we all take for granted (see below), you will - in a powerful and immediate way – help them transform from refugees to Chicagoans during this holiday season.
In their 6 months here – based out of a small apartment, with almost no possessions – they have managed to find some work, enroll in schools, and take the first steps towards starting their new life. They are trying to become good citizens, but the system isn't built to support a successful transition.
So we have selected a few items below that will change their lives significantly. Your contribution towards these at any level will not only bring comfort and advancement to the family, but will show them that this final stop – Chicago – is their home.
One the funds are raised, I will take them to the appropriate retailers near their home on Chicago's north side, so they can be part of the process. I'll personally make sure everything is delivered to and installed in their home.
Thank you very much for your generosity!
TV is a primary resource refugees use to learn English. It may seem odd to us, but TV is the primary tutor. And this tutor is cheap - on duty all day, every day for $180.
Because cable isn't an option due to cost, an HD antenna alternative gets a very acceptable 50+ channels without the recurring payment. And it costs only $40.
The apartment has very spotty heat – mostly in the bedroom shared by five boys who never knew what winter was, until now. Space heaters solve the problem. Cost $300.
The family has access to Wi-Fi, but no way to use it and allow their children to research and complete their homework online (first question to me from the youngest son: "how can I get a computer to do my homework?"). Costs $225.
There is no oven in the apartment, just a rickety cooktop. For mom, feeding her boys is very difficult with no way to heat/bake/cook, save for a stovetop pan. A microwave allows her to prepare the kinds of food she needs to for her boys in school, and her older boys who work midnight till 9:30 am doing cleaning work at O'Hare. Cost: $160.
The family's home has just about every kind of critter living inside – so a vacuum isn't just about tidying up. It's about giving kids a place that's safe and clean. Costs $100.
Inexpensive new gloves - don't have to expain this one to Chicagoans. $20x7=$140.
Lastly, if you have bicycles to donate, the kids need them to get to school. :)
Whatever the amount of your gift, the story of your support will let them know that decades of rejection from a hostile world ends at the Chicago border.
100% of your funds go to the family. When items are funded, I will buy and deliver them within 24 hours. And again, any dollars beyond the goal will be used immediately to provide additional basics.
Thanks again. Your participation means a lot.
*If you don't know what a "Rohingya" is, that's understandable given the news cycle. They are undergoing ethnic cleansing in Asia and are the largest refugee pool in the world. You can learn more here, but it's not for the faint of heart: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/asia/myanmar-rohingya-uk/index.html
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