Our Unitarian Universalist Society devotes each month to a new Dedicated Offering (DO) recipient whose representative speaks to us on the first Sunday. We split every Sunday’s offering plate 50/50 with the recipient organization. This move symbolizes the solidarity we feel with the organizations we choose to support, and it gives us all more opportunities to contribute. As always, please specify whether the funds you send to the office or by PayPal are for the Plate, your pledge, or some other purpose.

Catholic Charities is subcontracted by the US State Department as a refugee reception and placement agency. In the past two years, the agency has placed and served populations that are Congolese, Iraqi, Bhutanese, Ukrainian, and Eritrean. Currently the agency is placing Afghan refugee families in the Pioneer Valley.

Resettlement for refugee families, though one of joy in finding welcome and security, is a long and often difficult process. After welcoming the newly arrived families at the airport, Catholic Charities settles them into their new homes, and provides rental assistance, case management, cultural orientation, English language learning, connections with needed social, medical, and employment services and assistance, and, together with volunteers and agencies from the resettlement cities, supports and accompanies the families on the longer journey toward increasing economic self-sufficiency and healthy integration into their new community.  

The single biggest challenge to welcoming refugee families is access to affordable housing. Catholic Charities has agreed to help refugees rebuild their lives in the Pioneer Valley. It has also committed to providing its refugee families rental assistance, even as it works with them to find employment and move toward greater independence.