Our COVID-19 response
The RAP team has been focused on providing direct support to refugee individuals and families in greatest need since mid-March. Our donors and volunteers have stepped up to this enormous challenge and we're proud to report on our progress thus far (as of mid-April).
To maximize the impact of our efforts and to ensure help is provided to those in greatest need, we've established a strong collaboration between RAP, the IRC office in Elizabeth, One World One Love (a helping group based in Monmouth County), Westfield Fun Club (a helping group in Westfield), and Cornerstone Counseling (a peer-to-peer counseling organization based in Princeton).
Our direct deliveries of food, cleaning and hygiene supplies, vitamin C, medicine, and children's activities started with 7 families in mid-March and has now reached 78 families.
Recipients are from Elizabeth, Hillside, Newark, Bayonne, Haledon, Westfield, and Roselle. Deliveries are made twice each week and will continue for the most vulnerable families. As people gain access to community resources, they are rolled off the emergency delivery roster and new families are added several times each week.
We've hired unemployed refugees to make these deliveries so they can earn some income during this period.
We've provided direct cash assistance for food and household supplies such as detergent and soap to 5 of the most vulnerable families.
Some of our clients are employed as home health aides and nursing assistants and are now working in high-risk situations. We were able to secure 450 surgical masks and 4 boxes of latex-free medical gloves to help counter the severe shortage of PPEs at their jobs. We also provided 30 homemade washable cloth masks for refugee family members.
Our volunteers continue the work of our Sunday Sharing program, offering online and phone tutoring sessions with client children and young adults in everything from basic English to computer programming. And we provided laptops for two newly arrived refugee families whose children are not yet fully enrolled in school.
If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please read our COVID-19 help page to see how best to "Choose Welcome" at this time.
Food and essential supplies ready for delivery.
Ann M. getting her curbside delivery. She lives alone and does not qualify for food stamps. "big big foods! OH GOD BLESS YOU!" she texted in thanks.
Donation of bulk quantity of hand sanitizer.