Opening Doors for New Americans since 1882
On Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service 2018, over 100 volunteers gathered at six different sites to support immigrants, refugees, and asylees around Philadelphia. At HIAS PA’s office, twenty volunteers spent time preparing welcome baskets for incoming refugees who will arrive over the course of 2018. Supporters donated household goods, cleaning supplies, office supplies, children’s books and toys, and warm winter accessories to fill the baskets. They also wrote notes to accompany the baskets in order to welcome folks and provide them with some helpful items in their first days in Philadelphia.
Three other sites also participated in filling and assembling baskets: Germantown Friends School, Beth Am Israel, and a University of Pennsylvania student group, Penn Undergraduates for Refugee Empowerment. Volunteers from these sites collected items and filled baskets that they will then distribute to 35 asylees and asylum seekers, thus helping individuals who may have been recently released from detention with absolutely no money or possessions, people who may not be work authorized, and others who may be of limited means.
Up in the Northeast, a group of volunteers participated in sprucing up Spruance Elementary, where HIAS PA’s afterschool programming takes place. The group consisted of 25 HIAS PA volunteers and students from Kohelet Yeshiva as well as students of Spruance Elementary, many of whom are immigrants and refugees. This group painted the school’s gym and aided with other school cleanup.
Finally, a group of folks from Har Zion Temple spent the day collecting and organizing needed household items which will eventually furnish refugee homes.
HIAS PA thanks all of those who donated their time and efforts to support MLK Day of Service!