A gift that says, “You are still welcome”
While welcome baskets are a great gift for refugees arriving to the United States, one must realize that there are many refugees who continue to face feelings resentment, racism and ignorance from their surrounding communities well into their resettlement process in the United States. Given the current delegation of US funds, refugee resettlement is in a position to receive limited assistance. This fact means that fewer refugees are arriving to the United States, and refugees that are already here are receiving less financial support to foster services necessary for ongoing resettlement. RIAC offers important services for resettlement such as English education, social services, counseling, clinical and medical treatment and community outreach. A wonderful way to add to RIAC’s services is to donate a friendship basket to a refugee family or elderly refugee. A friendship basket helps refugees to receive supplies that might otherwise cause them financial burden. Refugees receive food stamps that allow for the purchase of limited items, often not including very important cleaning and personal care necessities. They are offered low-income housing by the government in areas such as Roxbury, Brighton etc. Refugee families come from 20 different countries, and RIAC currently serves around 100 refugees at the center. Refugees at the center have been here anywhere from less than 1 year to 30 years. There is no cut off time for refugee resettlement.
By providing a refugee with a friendship basket, you are also sending a wonderful message of friendship and compassion.
RIAC currently receives two types of friendship baskets:
- For elderly
- For families with young children
Sample baskets for the following look as follow:
- Elderly basket: Blankets, sheets, cleaning supplies, cooking supplies, laundry detergent, bathing supplies, house décor, disinfectant wipes, house slippers/bathrobe, adult diapers, heating pads and recreational kits (i.e. knitting needs), and a personal note
- Family basket: Diapers, school supplies, sheets, feminine hygiene products, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, bathing supplies, toys, games, picture frames, and a personal note
- Gift cards to grocery and home goods stores (Stop&Shop, Market Basket, Walmart etc.)
- We accept monetary donations at www.riacboston.org/donate
- We cannot accept used clothing, linens, or towels