Three years after launching our Refugee Family and Holocaust Survivor sponsorship programs in the New York area, Family-to-Family has expanded both programs to California. Working with Seniors At Home (part of Jewish Family and Children’s Services) in San Francisco, and Human Rights First in Los Angeles, we’ve begun providing monthly grocery gift cards to impoverished refugees and Holocaust survivors in both cities. We’re in the initial stage of expanding our Sponsor A Family program to L.A. as well.
In The News
44,000 and counting…
Thanks to donations from Eileen Fisher Renew, to date we’ve found homes for more than 44,000 gently used Renew women’s clothing items (by designer Eileen Fisher) – passing them along to low income women struggling to rebuild their lives. The clothing, which includes both casual and professional items perfect for job interviews, has gone to women in need at 20 poverty outreach organizations, including Westhab, Inc. in Yonkers, N.Y., The Henry Street Settlement House in New York, N.Y., The Bronx VA Women Veterans Clinic in New York, N.Y., Vet2Vet in Buffalo, N.Y., Family Justice Center in New York, N.Y., People to People in Nanuet, N.Y. and Integrity House in Newark, N.J.
Launched early last year, our Sponsor A Veteran program has reaped some immediate and heartwarming benefits for the sponsored vets.
In addition to providing each vet with more than a week’s worth of groceries every month, many veterans have received birthday gifts, shoes, shirts and pants, personal hygiene products, books and more from their sponsors.
Our contact at Westhab Inc.’s veterans housing facility in Yonkers, New York wrote about one sponsor’s gift: “I just delivered the sweatshirt to Edward S. HE LOVED IT. It was the perfect size and warmth for the weather. It’s like they knew what he liked, AND it was red for the Boston Red Sox! He sends his thanks and appreciation to his sponsor. He is wearing it now. 🙂”
When we heard that one of the vets we sponsor had no mattress in her apartment, we reached out to our donor community and were able to provide her with a mattress and new bedding. Last summer two disabled vets, one in a wheelchair, were badly in need of air conditioners, which we were able to provide through the generosity of our donors. Several vets have needed work clothes for job interviews…. another need we were able to meet, providing gift cards so they could go shopping.
Donors have also sent designated funds for our “Veterans Adopt the House” program, so we’ve been able to provide a hot take-out meal for every monthly house meeting at the Westhab facility since we launched!
To date, 42 veterans in the suburban New York area have been sponsored. These are vets living at or below the federal poverty line, who were recommended by one of three veterans services organizations: Family Services of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y.; Mental Health America of Dutchess County in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Westhab Inc. in Yonkers, N.Y.
Learn more about how to sponsor a struggling veteran here.
In an expansion of our regular Sponsor A Family program, Family-to-Family has linked up 90 refugee families who are recent arrivals to the U.S. with monthly sponsors. The program, launched in 2017, is an effort to help refugee families that are already in the U.S. but can’t yet support themselves. Each sponsored family is provided with a monthly grocery gift card enabling them to purchase basic grocery staples at a grocery store in their neighborhood. Recommended to our program by several national refugee resettlement agencies located in the New York City and upstate New York area, these families – fleeing violence, war and persecution – have emigrated from more than 20 countries – including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mexico, Peru, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, Somalia, and Ukraine. Sponsors provide a monthly donation to Family-to-Family which allow us to purchase the grocery gift cards, and can also send “their” family other basic essentials through the mail. Our goal is to help these individuals and families, who have already endured so much, feel welcome and secure in their new country. Learn more here.
The Hastings food pantry (where FtoF is located) is running low on basic food items, and with 60 families relying on it for staples every month, we’re enlisting our Hastings neighbors to JOIN OUR NEW AMAZON.COM FOOD PANTRY WISH LIST!
It’s super easy…. just click on the link and order an item or two to be shipped to the pantry! We’ll keep the wish list updated with the pantry’s most urgent needs every month. Thanks to Hastings resident Elizabeth Adinolfi for the great idea and for starting the list!
We’re hoping to use social media to circulate the list… and hopefully provide a permanent solution to the hunger problem here in HOH!
Here at Family-to-Family we’re excited to be collaborating with Her Justice – a NYC organization that helps impoverished women obtain legal assistance. Most of the women are victims of domestic violence. Family-to-Family will provide high quality clothing for the women to wear to court — complete outfits we’ll put together from clothing donated to us by the Eileen Fisher Recycling program Green Eileen. Since March we have passed along over 10,000 items of gently used Eileen Fisher clothes to 12 nonprofit organizations that serve women and teens in need!