Exodus World Service
P.O. Box 620, Itasca, IL 60243
630-307-1400 or 312-REFUGEE
Gracious God, be the Good Shepherd to refugees who are in flight.
Lead, protect and provide for them. Grant them healing and hope.
After fleeing persecution and hardship, refugees arrive in America having left nearly everything behind. As they start their lives over, one of their most basic needs is help setting up a new home.
Welcome to America! Pack List – pdf Document
Through the Welcome to America! Pack program, you can provide a warm welcome for one of these courageous families when they arrive in our community. You can turn an empty apartment into a home by collecting and delivering all of the basic household items needed for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and a first month’s supply of food staples. Sometime, you will meet your refugee family the day they arrive. Many times you will set up the home so that it is ready when they arrive. Either way, they often arrive with only a few possessions, but through your efforts are Welcomed to America! with the essential supplies they need.
DONATION OF FURNITURE
Exodus World Service works with several other sister organizations to help refugee families adjust and make a home. However, they do not handle furniture. Here are the organizations you can contact about donating pieces to help make a house a home:
World Relief DuPage
1825 College Ave. #230
Wheaton, IL 60187
Furniture Contact: Daniel at 630-888-0023
Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago
1730 W Greenleaf Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
Heartland Alliance (Refugee and Immigrant Community Services)
4419 N Ravenswod Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
World Relief Chicago
3507 W Lawrence Ave #208, Chicago, IL 60625
Contact Person: Jacob Mau at 773-681-8549 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A REFUGEE?
- Live in a place where people are persecuted because of their race, religion, ethnicity, social group or political belief. Belong to one of these groups.
- Flee your country when your life is threatened. Take only your immediate family members and the clothes you are wearing.
- Find your way to the relative safety of a neighboring country.
- Apply to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for protection.
- If the U.N. recognizes your need for protection, you may be given a card and allowed to live in a country or in a refugee camp. You may not even be safe there, especially if you are a woman or child. If you know you will be persecuted if you return home, you may apply for permanent resettlement to another country.
- UNHCR Refugee Camp.
HOW A REFUGEE IS ADMITTED TO THE U.S.
Once in a refugee camp the paper work begins.
At a Processing Post the necessary documents are assembled and then there is the waiting period, more documents are assembled and more waiting time. This can take months or years.
Eventually the refugee is granted an interview with the U.S. Government official who needs to be convinced that the person should have refugee status.
If the answer is NO, the options are:
- Return home (which is usually impossible).
- Stay where you are (in a refugee camp).
- Try another country.
If the answer is YES, the case goes to an agency to find a sponsor. Then the waiting begins again. This can take years.