Originally Published: February 20, 2017 6:02 a.m.
Want to help?
International Rescue Committee welcomes donations of new items to help refugee families set up households. For those interested in contributing, the list includes a need for men’s and women’s hygiene articles (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, toilet paper), baby items (diapers, baby wipes, car seats), cleaning items (laundry soap, sponges, brooms, wastebaskets), kitchen items (dishes, pots and pans, silverware), and household goods (sheets, pillows, towels, alarm clock, light bulbs). Trucks are available Feb. 25 to take donations to Glendale for distribution. For more details, visit the IRC website and kit page at:
This event is free to the public.
Akram Zreikat, his wife, mother and four children arrived in Phoenix a few months ago from Syria after fleeing their country, living in the Zaatari refugee camp, and finally arriving in the United States.
He will tell his story during a presentation titled “No More Strangers or Foreigners” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1101 Sandretto, Prescott.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) from Glendale organized the presentation to bring awareness to the community about the plight of displaced families and refugees, while also dispelling fears and misunderstandings, and discussing ways to help.
Topics include an explanation on the refugee situation worldwide, who are refugees, the security vetting process, resettlement, what the IRC and other agencies do once refugees arrive, and how the community can become engaged in helping out. Zreikat will share his experience.
Cynthia Patience, organizer and volunteer with IRC, said a year and a half ago she was feeling desperate watching the heart-wrenching situations of refugees.
Patience found the IRC in the Phoenix area and learned they accepted donations. She’s been working with them since.
IRC provides families with several kits to help them get on their feet: cleaning kits, hygiene kits, kitchen kits, baby kits, etc. Those attending this event are welcome to bring items to donate that can be used in refugee kits.
Because the Glendale office can’t store large items such as furniture, the staff directed Patience to deliver a couch and coffee table directly to a recently arrived refugee family. This is how she met Zreikat. During the holidays, IRC offers a program called Adopt a Family, Patience said.
Even though there are no refugee families living in the Prescott area, she wanted to let people know about the program and how resettlement works.
“I thought if somebody came up here and just talked about the process, it might help. I presented it to my church and they liked it,” Patience said.
She attended a Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) meeting and offered information about the talk. Word spread to other congregations, and the Quad-City Interfaith Council took it on.
“I’m hoping for a good turnout from all areas and walks of life,” she said.
(Editor's note: This event is free to the public and everyone is invited to attend.)