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April 2024 We Care Wednesday

In March, the Boston Globe featured volunteers that have opened up their homes to refugees and asylum seekers in Massachusetts. We were excited to learn of an organization working nearby and checked out the ArCS Cluster which helps refugees and asylum seekers in Arlington, Cambridge, and Somerville. ArCS Cluster is an all volunteer organization, with no office and no overhead, so every penny donated goes to support a local refugee or asylum seeker. Many of their guests have to stay anonymous because of the danger to relatives in their home country, but here is the story of one of their extraordinary guests.

We reached out to ArCS Cluster to ask if they would want us to highlight anything specific on the blog and they sent along this statement:

Hundreds of immigrant families are now sleeping at Logan Airport, and in hospital waiting rooms and MBTA stations because the state's shelter system is full. These families are here legally but are waiting for work authorization from the federal government. ArCS Cluster is working with the state's Family Welcome Center to provide vital support. Do you have an empty room? Offering it to a family for just a few days can give them a chance to warm up, rest and take steps toward getting work authorization and long-term shelter.

This FAQ, from the Brazilian Workers Center, provides details about the host family program, and contact information for any additional questions. If you'd like to learn about being a short-term host, please complete this host application form. And as always, give directly to ArCS Cluster so these folks can continue doing this essential work in our community.

And even if you don't have a spare room or space to host a person or family there are plenty of other ways to assist immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Massachusetts. The International Institute of New England's "Resettle Together" program is a wonderful opportunity to bring together a group of volunteers (friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.) and train to provide core resettlement services.

Looking for more ways to assist? The Boston Globe has an updated list of Massachusetts-based resources and organizations that help migrants in a multitude of ways. You can check it out here.

*Since launching the We Care Wednesday initiative in January 2017 we have donated over $85,215 to a variety of nonprofits and mutual aid funds doing essential work in our community as well as other places. From the Mayor's Disaster Fund to BAGLY to Abortion Access Front and Material Aid and Advocacy. We select organizations that we feel represent not only our commitment to a better, more equitable world but also our desire to "do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."