11/23/22: Ukrainian Refuges

Uniting for Ukraine RV  is an organization created by Scott Banderoff that has brought 8 refuge Ukrainian families to Ashland. You may have read about Shirley Patton taking in one of these families. Another family has been here 4 months as guests in a home. They are in great need of having their own space with a 9 year old son and active 2 year old.

Uniting for Ukraine RV is assisting families with access to social services, medical care, immigration attorney; arranging transportation; enrolling children in school; aiding children and parents in learning English. They have been doing the heavy lifting. They also are working hard to find living space for these families. We have the Morton House that is now unused.

Fred’s ask at church was for a point-person or team to support a family living in the Morton House. A team has emerged! The mystery of an invisible God working in our midst!

Only a few weeks ago, we received a new pledge. We had been thinking of paying for a new Sunday School teacher from rental income. This pledge will cover that cost. More mystery amongst us.

As I have been asking people about what they think of this possibility over the past week, responses have been overwhelmingly positive—enthusiastic—excited. As Scott says, this is an opportunity for us “to DO Christian, not just BE Christian.”

But a number of concerns have arisen. So let me address the questions I know of:

  • Budget impact is zero. We have no rental income in our budget. Our budget currently pays for the utilities and maintenance. In time, I imagine this family will pay for utilities and maintenance. They soon will qualify for work permits and they receive a government stipend.
  • What if they don’t work out? Any other option for this house has the risks of unruly or destructive tenants. An intact family who are filled with gratitude for the generosity of the church are far more likely to be good tenants than your average renter. There is an organization and a community that is supporting this family who wants what we all want—a safe place to live and grow and thrive.
  • How to furnish the house? Uniting for Ukraine RV is awash in donations of furniture and furnishings. Today bedding was offered. As was baby sitting, help shopping.
  • How do we communicate? Uniting for Ukraine RV has translators. But all 8 of these families are learning English together.

I want the church to have their questions answered. Next Sunday, Scott Banderoff will send someone on his behalf  to attend a TalkBack after church so you can ask your questions. Please join us for that. And know that

       we have enough,

              we are enough, and

                     we have plenty to share.


Note: Uniting for Ukraine is hosting a fundraiser: Tutunov & Violin special concert at the Havurah, Dec 15, 7:00 pm.