Just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Each year thousands of immigrants and refugees come to the United States seeking to make a new life for themselves. Some are victims of war, oppression, and political turmoil. Others are coming to join loved ones. All come seeking the opportunity to live in peace, safety, and freedom. Upon arrival in the United States, these new Americans face the challenge of starting lives anew, often with little more than just a few material possessions. They must immediately attend to basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and jobs, while learning a new language and navigating the many cultural variations in our society. Consequently, there is a great need for people who are willing to help facilitate the integration of newly arriving immigrant and refugee populations into our society.
Immigrants and refugees are not the only ones who benefit when people reach out to help them. Volunteers often mention that by giving of their time and energy to aid newcomers, their lives were enriched through:
The joy of helping newcomers build new lives and become contributing participants in our communities.
The knowledge gained by working with people from new cultures.
The satisfaction of knowing that you have helped to positively shape the life of another person.
The opportunity to join in solidarity with those who are less fortunate.
Fulfilling the Gospels call to Welcome the Stranger
Volunteers not only provide a warm welcome upon the newcomers arrival, but are instrumental in making the transition into American society go more smoothly. They are needed to help provide social services to the newcomer, to administer pastoral care, and to be an advocate for the rights of immigrants and refugees.
If you are interested in volunteering to work with newly-arriving immigrants and refugees, please contact the local office in your area.