January 10, 2023

It’s a pretty wild season right now at City of Refuge. Lots of change, transition, growth. Sure, our building capacity tripled… but perhaps the needs did, as well. Or perhaps our favorite Field of Dreams quote really does hold true, “If you build it, they will come…” 

On any given day, we’re working hard to meet any number of needs. Our Care Coordinators are in court, or at the hospital, or helping refugees buy cars, or stepping into marital disputes, or getting teenagers the help they need to overcome mental health challenges. 

Our Education team is preparing English Language curriculum, matching community volunteers to refugees who want to learn English, helping families navigate the school systems, prepping for Homework Helpers each week, developing citizenship courses, taking steps toward our dreams of beginning a preschool.

Our office and donation folks are scrambling to put together a new store, start artisan studio classes, sorting through donations, making sure our Basic Needs Closet is stocked, ensuring we have volunteers and interns to make the behind-the-scenes day-to-day happen, and finding/fixing all the little things as we acclimate to the bones of our new building. 

While all of this goes on, we are continually looking for new sources of funding, working to develop new partnerships, finding more ways to share with our community that there are THOUSANDS of refugees that live nearby and that there is a myriad of ways to get involved. 

Here’s a little FAQ as we all settle into a new rhythm of things! 

  1. Are you accepting donations? Yes!  Absolutely. From Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm.  Swing through our Drive-Thru Donation Drop-off (you know, where you used to get your cash out of the ATM), ring the doorbell, and someone will greet you. Contact Kellye if you have any questions! 
  2. What do you all need right now?
  3. Are you doing anything for the holidays? Yes! Take a sneak peak at our Season of Giving. We would love to get you, your church, or your organization involved. We can even supply ornaments to hang on your trees. Contact us if you want to organize with us! 
  4. Are you all doing CoMoGives again? Yes! This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and we welcome your support again (or for the first time). Save the date for Giving Tuesday! If you’re feeling EXTRA eager to help City of Refuge out, consider signing up for a peer to peer fundraiser and working to raise funds for City of Refuge among your own sphere through a variety of ways. Check out this website for ideas and how to sign up! 
  5. When will your store open? We’re so glad you asked! Keep your eyes open for a grand opening of the City of Refuge Boutique, coming mid-November. We are thrilled to be able to actively sell items that are donated when they don’t always meet the direct needs of our refugee friends. These funds will be immediately put back into City of Refuge programs and refugee care. Our longterm goal is to be able to integrate Refugee Artisan pieces into the Boutique so that all of Columbia will be greatly enhanced by the skills and cultures of our refugee friends! 

Friends, you have made this growth possible. Your support, your commitment, your gifts, your sharing… none of it could be done without your generosity and your willingness to show up. 

It’s a wild, beautiful season. 

We’d love for you to keep coming along for the ride and invite more people. It’s one that we all, undoubtedly, will look back on with awe and wonder. Build with us. Dream with us. Be a part of true life change with us. 

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