There has been a huge amount of activity since we sent out our first appeal for help on January 11. A number of you raised your hand and we have a good group of church members who we have already called on for a variety of tasks and donation of furnishings!
The big news is that shortly after our appeal went out, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston notified our RIM/Metro North Cluster that we have been assigned to resettle two Afghan women in their twenties (who we will refer to as H and M), who are living in temporary host homes in the Boston area. In the three weeks since, the Cluster worked with a realtor to find an apartment in Malden and get the lease signed. Then little over a week ago, we met them and showed them the apartment and moved in some furniture that has been donated. The good Lord willing and the weather cooperating, we will welcome them into their new home this weekend.
Now the work (and reward!) of helping them make their way here in our community begins. We will soon send out a list of committees that you can sign up for to help find work, improve their English, learn budgeting skills—even learn more about the culture of the US and use appliances in their apartment.
We’d like to close with a story. Last week Sarah Marino found a message left on the church’s phone and asked Linda and me to call the person back. It turns out the woman who had called had just lost her 91-year-old father a few days earlier. His name is Richard Morris and had lived in Winchester for over 50 years. She wanted to return a gift that was given to her family back in the 1960s. They had emigrated from Wales and when they arrived in Winchester, they had only an empty apartment to live in. All their possessions were on a boat coming from the UK. So, our church rallied and provided furniture and household items just the way we will be providing them to H and M (except there is no ship sailing to our shores with their possessions). The daughter knew that her father would have wanted to do this. When I explained to her about our new immigrants and the timing of the call, we all got a little teary-eyed. Saturday Linda and I met her and other family members who are clearing out Mr. Morris’ Mt. Pleasant Street house to view the furniture donations. On top of it all she gave us a generous check in memory of her father and wished our two women the best. Another teary-eyed moment!
Quoting Jena Roy: “Grace happens!”
Linda and Bruce Alexander