Welcome to America!

a blog post from Monica LaBrot, All Souls’ Welcome Pack Coordinator

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world…I was a stranger and you invited me in.’”

Matthew 25:34-35

All Souls joins with Exodus World Service regularly to welcome newly arrived refugees by bringing them a Welcome to America! Pack, containing many of the basic items necessary to start a household. Resettlement agencies provide an apartment and furniture. Churches like All Souls provide everything else that makes a home.

The current All Souls Welcome Pack goal date is October 16. Please sign-up for individual pack items here. Offline signup will be available on the whiteboard on Sundays, showing outstanding items needed from the online list of committed donations.

The size of the refugee family varies. The items marked TBD on the signup.com list are intended to be purchased after the Welcome Pack collection is underway. The specific ethnicity of the family will determine if additional items like a rice cooker or pressure cooker are required. I will keep you apprised of these additional needs as they come by sending you follow-up emails with the requests.

We will collect all pack items at the church on Sundays with boxes labeled. I will inventory and adjust list quantities as items come in. I will also send you reminder emails as the goal date approaches.

Please provide Welcome Pack items that are new. New items are mandated by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and provide welcome with dignity.

When I receive the green light from the Exodus regarding the anticipated date and time of arrival, apartment address, and family information–including their names, ethnicity, and country of origin, we will need a few church volunteers with cars who can deliver the Welcome Pack to the refugee family during the week. Ideally, Exodus is aware of the date a week prior, but often they receive only a day or two of notice. Delivery locations will vary, but most are located in DuPage County or the Greater Chicago area.

When we deliver the Welcome Pack, an Exodus representative will join you for the entire delivery process, meeting you outside the apartment of the refugee individual or family on the agreed-upon day and time. Please contact me with any questions: monica.labrot@allsouls.com.