AFKC Helps French Speaking Refugees for Christmas
This Christmas the Alliance Française de Kansas City adopted some French speaking refugee families - a total of 37 adults and children living in the Kansas City area. The need was identified by the priest at St. Anthony Catholic Church where these families walk long distances to attend church each Sunday. They came to the United States from Africa to protect their children and escape the ongoing wars. They left behind everything - their homes, their possessions, their culture, their language. They spent years in refugee camps before being given permission to emigrate.
In early December, members of AFKC met with each family to determine their wants and needs. Having someone finally speak to them in French brought smiles and relief to everyone. It was perhaps the most welcome gift. The biggest “want” was jobs and we are working with employers and other organizations to help move this forward. The needs included warm clothing, blankets, personal care items, toys for the children, and food for a good Christmas meal. Each household also needed help keeping warmth in their homes.
After raising just over $3,500 in generous donations from both the membership and the community, AFKC went shopping and purchased almost $1500 worth of necessities, presents and holiday food. These, along with donated clothing and blankets, were delivered to each refugee household by a group of members on Sunday, December 18. Because not one of these people have a driver’s license, bus passes (31 days each) were mailed to each home. Finally, account numbers were gathered and money will be put into each utility account so that, hopefully, these families will have a more comfortable winter.
The goal of AFKC is to continue to provide ongoing help to these refugees, as needed, throughout 2017. Our chapter is more than French classes and events, we are plugged into the French speaking community and try to help those who need some help moving forward.
If you have made a news year’s resolution to make the world a better place, then consider volunteering with the Alliance Française de Kansas City to assist these deserving families over the course of the next year and beyond. We cannot do it alone and are hopeful you will consider giving your time to help. If you are interested in helping, a committee will be being formed in January and it will be looking for interested members to join and develop a plan of action.
If you are a member and are interested in joining this committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details.
Alliance Française de Kansas City volunteers are the heart of our organization and we encourage you to join in! Volunteering your time, together with other enthusiastic members, is the best way to get to know us and to share our love of the French culture and language. Our best memories of AFKC are the times we have worked together!