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Help Make Homes for Refugees

Interest: Human Need
Audience: Babies & Toddlers, Kids, Adults, Intergenerational, Families

Help refugees fleeing persecution or war to make new lives in Seattle. Your gift welcomes the stranger, transforming him to a neighbor.

$3,185 Raised out of $5,000
51 Funders
0 Days Remaining

What are you going to do?

Imagine starting your life completely over in a foreign country, without money and with only a single small bag for your possessions. Imagine the life of a refugee.

Help provide five refugee families with everything they need to establish homes in our community. Your donation will purchase items like the ones below, so new arrivals start with the basics necessities.

$10     Alarm Clock
$25     Pots & Pans Starter Set
$50     Tableware (4 each of plates, bowls, glasses & flatware)
$100   Bedding Set (sheets, blanket, comforter & pillow)
$250   Refurbished Computer & Discounted Internet (6 months)
$500   Basic Furniture (Dinette Set, Sofa & Mattresses)      

Wonder what would it take to outfit a family of four with all the basics for a first apartment home? About $1,000.
RISC (Refugee & Immigrant Service Centers) is a JFS program that resettles nearly 200 refugees annually from across the globe. Families and individuals fleeing war or persecution come to the Seattle-area from places as diverse as the Republic of the Congo, Burma, Iraq and Vietnam (to name just a few). 121 years ago, JFS was founded to help immigrants make their new lives here. In  keeping with that tradition, our community continues its commitment to welcoming the stranger.

RISC Program
Margaret Hinson
RISC Director
Will Berkovitz

About RISC Program

The Refugee & Immigrant Service Centers of Jewish Family Service offer refugees and immigrants employment programs, English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction and related social services. Participants are supported and encouraged as they integrate successfully into their new environment. RISC staff are culturally diverse and recruited directly from the ethnic communities we serve. Our specialists provide individualized, culturally sensitive guidance to hundreds of clients each year, with positive results.

About Margaret Hinson

Margaret joined RISC in 2007 as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Six hard, but incredibly enriching years later, Margaret is now the RISC Director. She manages a team of 15 diverse, multi-lingual professionals who, from two offices in King County, work directly with newly arrived refugees from all over the world. As her staff educate clients on how to meet their basic needs, Margaret spends much of her time advocating at all levels of government to support policies that directly impact her clients, including livable wages, affordable healthcare, nutrition, transportation, immigration reform and education. Margaret is a Pacific Northwest native with degrees in History and Spanish from the UW. Outside of work, she loves to travel and spend as much time as possible backpacking and climbing in the wild.

About Will Berkovitz

Will is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the 121 year-old, human service agency. His responsibilities include oversight of nine program areas, from refugee resettlement to emergency services. He leads JFS in mobilizing to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable in the Seattle community. Before coming to JFS, Will was Senior Vice President and Rabbi in Residence at Repair the World. Prior to Repair the World, Will served as Rabbi and Executive Director of Hillel at the University of Washington and Jconnect Seattle. Will is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and other national publications. Will is married to Dr. Lelach Rave and their family includes three children: Nativ, Idan and Ma’ayan.