Dear beloved Westchester, Rockland, and Riverdale communities:
We are, unfortunately, writing with an urgent request to help get Ukrainians out of Europe. Unfortunately, the number of displaced is rising, and the weather is getting colder. Housing situations are precarious in all the places Ukrainians are situated as they await safe entry to America. Many are living in shelters, at friends' homes, many families are taking up residence in single rooms, and many have very few belongings, including winter garments to keep them and their children warm. Soon it will be the break/holidays, and once again, there will be a hold-up in i134 (sponsorship) applications by the American government. We are worried about these families seeking refuge.
HIAS, alongside all of us at WJCI, would like to get as many of these people to safety as possible before the worst part of winter. There are many families awaiting matches in America, and many more are in the process of being entered into the database. In addition, many community members have stepped up to resettle families who fled the war and have been seeking refuge in places around Europe.
HIAS' RUTH (Refugees Uniting Through HIAS) system is up and running, matching struggling families in Europe with volunteer groups in America. Beneficiary matches are being made quickly by local Welcome Circles.