MA News

Middle Schoolers welcome refugee children

JFS family

A family fom Burundi, who has recently arrived in the U.S. with the helds of JFS’s New American Program, receives blankets and care packages from students at Van Sickle Middle School.

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield’s Van Sickle Middle School 8th graders donated 15 handmade blankets and care packages to Jewish Family Service’s New American Program to welcome newly arriving refugee families. All the blankets were crafted by the students as part of a service project in conjunction with United Way’s Youth Generate program during National Volunteer Week. The students were assisted by Americorps Service members Sedale Williams and Caryn Zelazo, who presented a workshop on diversity and cultural competence for the students. After the workshop, students constructed the tie blankets and care packages for refugee children who are joining their community. Each student also included a handwritten personal welcome letter to accompany each blanket. Jewish Family Service relies on community support to successfully welcome new families into our communities. “We are extremely grateful to the students for their generosity and for choosing JFS as their project recipient. It’s community partners, like Van Sickle Middle School and United Way, who make our refugee resettlement work possible. Together, we are healing the world, one individual and family at a time,” said Galina Abashina, marketing and development associate at JFS.

CAP: Generous students from Van Sickle Middle School made blankets for refugee children in Springfield.

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