Volunteers, donations needed for recently resettled Congolese family

Volunteers and donations needed for recently resettled family from the Congo

Through our collaboration with local public schools, the Hyde Park Refugee Project became aware of a family recently resettled from the Congo that is in need.  Many of you are already familiar with this family, as you responded with generosity to our request for blankets and comforters  in December.  

Over the past month, our volunteers have gotten to know several members of this family of 14.  We have been busy developing a comprehensive response to help the family find its footing on its journey towards independence.  We have already helped one family member get a job! But there are several family members, including the father and several adult children, that are very eager to find either full-time or part-time employment.  

Now we are reaching out to you for your support.  

Here are the ways that you can help:

Providing employment leads

Our volunteers will follow up on all possible job leads.  The best leads are specific employers or businesses with a current opening (that ideally provides health benefits) or an employer you have a relationship with that might be open to a new hire. General job suggestions tend to drain limited volunteer time.  We are also looking for employment mentors who will assist the family through the complicated job application process.

Please contact Diane Salk dmsalk@mac.com with job leads or to find out how to become an employment mentor.

Donating household items

The Congolese family has requested a number of items for their kids and home.  Please click here to sign up to donate specific items.


There are immediate opportunities to provide homework assistance and English tutoring for the Congolese family.  Beyond helping the family at home, the local public schools are excited  that the Refugee Project has begun to place volunteers directly in schools. The options include:

  • tutoring at school (daytime and after school)
  • tutoring in the family’s home (evenings and weekends)

To find out more about how to get involved in tutoring, contact Kate Hannigan at katehannigan@gmail.com.

Providing early childhood enrichment

The Refugee Project began hosting a free three-times-a-week class for English Language Learners at Augustana Lutheran Church in Hyde Park.  Families bring along non-school-age children.  Children receive enrichment in a nursery while the adults go to “school” down the hall.  We are seeking volunteers to help with this program. Individuals with young children are welcome to volunteer as well.

To find out how to get involved, please contact Linda Pope devinlinda@yahoo.com.

Donate to family emergency fund

Your financial contributions will help cover emergency needs such as rental assistance, food assistance, bus passes, etc.  Our goal is to raise $7,000.  Any financial donations beyond this level will help provide additional resources for an English Language Learners class and an early childhood enrichment program for non-school-age children for the refugee families.  The volunteers who lead this class were trained in August 2017 by Literacy Works. This training was made possible by your generous donations to the Refugee Project last year.

Please click here to contribute to the family’s emergency fund.

Your generosity has already helped two Syrian refugee families gain a foothold in our country and community.  Your continued support of the Hyde Park Refugee Project will enable our new Congolese family to move a step closer to its goal of a brighter future.

Thank you!

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