Letter from our President
A heartfelt welcome from RAP and our community of families:
Thank you for taking the time to learn about our organization and the work that we do. As the newly elected President of RAP for 2022, it is my honor to introduce you to our organization. I’m extremely excited about the work that our volunteers have been doing, and I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead of us this year to make positive impacts on our families’ lives.
We choose welcome. This is more than a slogan; it’s how we choose to live out our mission and values. If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that people thrive in community. With support from friends, family, and even strangers, an individual can live a happy, healthy, self-sufficient life. That is exactly what choosing welcome looks like - providing support, love, and compassion in order to help others find self-sufficiency. So what does that support look like?
Through family teams, tutoring, and other volunteer services, we help individuals and families navigate their initial time in NJ. We aim to give power to each individual by equipping them with the proper tools and knowledge to find success in the United States - whatever their unique painting of success looks like. We also practice power with our families by working through ambiguous situations together. Throughout, we uphold each person’s dignity by allowing them to make their own informed choices for their wellbeing.
As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, RAP nimbly shifted our strategy to provide food aid as people lost jobs, and we moved tutoring online so we could continue to safely support our friends’ learning. It’s been amazing to see how our volunteers have stepped up throughout this challenging period. I’ve also been astounded by the families we work with, and their resiliency to continue learning and growing. As the pandemic persists, I am convinced that we will continue to find innovative ways to serve.
Our mission is more important now than it ever has been. The number of displaced people and refugees around the world continues to rise, and our mission calls us to meet the increased demand as the USA welcomes more refugees than in the past few years.
Our mandate is simple, though not easy: To welcome people with open arms; give them a safety net woven in trust, understanding, and support; and encourage the creation of their own success. RAP has done this in the past through means mentioned above, and we are excited to be expanding into a co-sponsorship model this year, which will allow us to serve even more families.
If something about this work ignites a spark in you, I encourage you to join us in choosing welcome. New volunteers are provided training and resources to make sure they are successful. It would be a pleasure to continue this work with you.
I have seen the healing power of choosing welcome. Through welcoming refugee arrivals into our country and supporting them in their journey to self-sufficiency, we have the opportunity to regard them as friends and members of our community. Welcoming one individual or family at a time, we can make this world a more loving, peaceful, and safe place for all to thrive.