It’s not every day that you hear of a Christian organization partnering with a Jewish organization to help Muslim refugees, but that is exactly what is happening now in central Pennsylvania. Between January 2 and February 15, 2022, the largest resettlement effort for Afghan refugees in the United States (90,000+) will take place. After undergoing a thorough 14-step vetting process (biometric scans, vaccinations, medical histories, etc.), they will be relocated to cities across the United States. M28 Ministry, a faith-based, community-focused movement of people whose primary focus is to help individuals in drug and alcohol addiction recovery, and Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Greater Harrisburg, a social and human services provider working to help people reach their full potential, are working together to make life a bit more comfortable for five or six Afghan families being relocated to the region.
“While M28’s main focus is geared toward those managing their sobriety,” said Jimmy Schambach, Director of M28 Ministry, “we also help others in need of a place to live, a meal to eat, and a sympathetic ear to listen. That is why we are working with Jewish Family Services on this essential effort. Can you imagine the stress, sadness, and confusion these Afghan refugees will feel as they arrive in a strange new place? If we can make them feel more at home, and know that they are not in this alone, then our work will be complete.”
As part of M28 Ministry’s House2Home Project, during the initial 90-day resettlement period each family will receive new or gently used furniture and other household goods with which to furnish their new Pennsylvania home. The House2Home Project has helped hundreds of families in the past turn an empty living space into a clean and cozy home where they can feel proud of their surroundings. This frees them to spend more time and personal resources on education, employment, raising children, and creating a future for themselves. JFS will handle locating housing for the refugees and helping them acclimate to the new community.
“Our House2Home Project is a simple idea that has a transforming impact on the future of those who are going through life changing circumstances, like these Afghan refugees,” said Schambach. “But we cannot do this alone. We need the generous support of the community for furniture donations to provide people in need with the basic necessities of life. Right now, our need is greatest for twin-, full-, and queen-sized mattresses, bedsheets, especially for extra-long twin beds, dressers, kitchen tables, and pots and pans, but any household goods and furniture in decent shape will be happily accepted. Just give us a call or shoot me an email and we’ll come pick up the items at no cost to you.” If you don’t have any excess furniture around your home, but want to support this effort, you can make a tax-deductible donation.