Your organization can start your Refugee Ministry by…

Helping them to get a bike!

STVCC provides every new family with vouchers that can be used to obtain a bicycle from Share-a-bike. But to receive the bike, they must be at the East Lansing Fire Station very early on Saturday morning (before the buses start running). Your organization can have volunteers partner with STVCC (clearance process required) to transport new arrivals to Share-a-bike to receive bikes. Share-a-bike organization can also use bicycle parts as well as volunteers to repair/build bikes.

To be a bicycle support volunteer, contact Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Helping furnish their new homes through Adopt-a-Room!

STVCC provides new families with furniture in each home. We provide furniture to new arrivals through donations from the community. An organization or church can ‘adopt a room’ in the family’s home and collect furniture for the room that is chosen to adopt. Once the furniture is collected, STVCC will deliver it to the families.

If you are interested in adopting a room, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Providing English Classes!

STVCC provides some ESOL (English for Speaker of Other Languages) classes to new arrivals in the Lansing area in preparation for employment, but many people need to continue learning English for many years, even after they’ve started working. A church or organization can provide ESL classes to new arrivals by providing space to hold the classes and volunteers to teach. This will help new arrivals learn English more efficiently and will ease cultural barriers in America.

If you would like to teach ESOL, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Establishing Support Groups and Care for the Vulnerable!

The transition into a new culture is difficult, especially when people are arriving in a new country alone. A church or organization can help ease this transition through the establishment of support groups for new arrivals. These groups will allow new arrivals to meet others who are also transitioning into American culture, will provide a safe space for people to talk about their difficulties and excitement about their new home, and will provide support from both Americans and others transitioning into a new culture to help ease the process.  Vulnerable groups who are especially at risk of being painfully isolated tend to be single mom and stay-at-home moms, elderly, and people with disabilities.

If your organization would like to establish a support group, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Providing After School Tutoring!

Many refugee parents start working within a few months of arrival and many children do not have safe educational/recreational places to go after school. An organization or church can provide after school programs for children to allow parents to continue working. These programs could provide tutoring for children or events that would help improve their English skills and have them spend time others their own age.

If your organization would like to provide after school programming, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Creating Recreational or Sporting Events in the Community!

Moving can be stressful, and sometimes new arrivals forget to take time to have fun. A church or organization can create recreational or sporting activities to help new arrivals reduce their stress. These events also help new families meet new people within the community, will allow them to practice their English skills, and will help them learn ways to enjoy their community.

If your organization would like to develop recreational opportunities, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Establishing Drop-In Centers to Help Answer Questions!

Many new arrivals have questions about transportation, paying bills, and locations of buildings around town. A church or organization can provide drop-in centers to help answer these questions. These centers will be open to provide new arrivals to “drop-in” and ask questions they may have about living in the United States.

If your organization would like to start a drop-in center, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Providing higher education counseling!

Many youth who came as refugees need help understanding how to identify educational programs, complete college applications, scholarship applications and applications for student aid/loans. A church or organization can provide workshops for refugee high school seniors or new graduates or anyone wishing to seek higher educations.

If your organization would like to provide educational counseling, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Hosting Events: Field Days

STVCC would love to have volunteers come alongside Refugees in their community by helping offer field days or events. These events will help refugees feel more welcome in their new home, learn new skills, and learn more about life in Michigan. These could be hosted by churches, schools, individuals, families or whomever as a way to get involved. Field days could be set up as a summer fun camp, spa night, a soccer tournament, or perhaps an educational outing to a museum.

If hosting an Event or field day is something that interest you or your organization, then please send your contact information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

refugee ministrySupporting Gardening!

Many refugees have great experience farming and gardening. And many people find gardening to be therapeutic, stress reducing and in some cases profitable. Any church or organization with adequate space, materials and volunteers could assist by teaching gardening skills, helping with the costs of transportation to and from the garden, and by creating more networking for those involved. A garden is a wonderful asset to fresh produce, new skills, friendly faces and growth.

If this is something that you or your organizations feel passionate about, then send your contact information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Providing them with necessary clothing!

STVCC’s office does not have capacity or resources to collect, sort or distribute clothing. But any church or organization with adequate space and dedicated volunteers could do so. STVCC would then provide new arrivals with your address and a voucher indicating that they are refugees.

If you would like to help clothe refugees, please send your organization’s information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Providing Laptops and/or Computer Education!

Most occupations and positions a computer has become a necessity. A church or organization could get involved with this need by collecting new or used laptops, ensuring they run properly, and donating them to refugees through STVCC. The organization can also hold workshops to teach basic use the computer skills. Workshops could cover how programs like word, excel, or power point work, to how to connect to the internet, use an email account, etc.

If hosting a used laptop drive, or providing computer skills education are things that interest you, then please send your organizations information to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.

Supporting driver’s training and car buying!

Many new arrivals need help getting their license and first vehicle. An organization or church can provide classes to help pass the written test and set up at basic road test and practice area in their parking lot. It would also be helpful to show refugees reputable used vehicle lots and help them with the paperwork. Once a driving ministry has been set up at your organization, STVCC will refer refugees with a desire and aptitude for driving.

Please send details of your organizations driving ministry to Marissa Nalley at nalleym@stvcc.org.