The US State Department is allowing private citizens to sponsor and resettle refugees through a newly developed program called The Sponsor Circle Refugee Resettlement Program.

Friendship Force Cedar Rapids / Iowa City approached Lovely Lane to see if we might partner with them to sponsor an Afghan family. Lovely Lane Ad Council has voted to do so. The sponsor circle (a minimum of 5 people) will work on securing housing, registering children in school, coordinating medical appointments, helping adults find employment, providing initial income support, helping individuals learn English, signing up for government benefits, etc.

We have secured $15,000 from the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. After the application is processed it may be anywhere from two weeks to six months to receive a family. In the meantime, we are encouraging our membership to learn about the challenges that refugees and immigrants face coming to the US —a different culture, language, etc.—through reading books, watching movies, and other resources you may find. You may do this also with your children by finding movies and books about different cultures and discussing them with your children relating especially to the refugees we will be
welcoming into our community and how they might help them adjust in their schools.

“The good that we can do together surpasses the good that we can do alone.” (Benjamin Franklin)