When a refugee family from Guatemala needed support, the folks at Called to Care welcomed them with open arms. The Canandaigua based group is comprised of individuals from various churches, organizations and community groups, all with the same passion: welcoming refugees.
Since the Spring of 2022, Called to Care has worked as a Co-Sponsor of World Relief Western NY, helping to establish refugees into their local community. Through this partnership, Called to Care directly welcomes families and works towards their resettlement. The group takes on all of the core services necessary to resettle a family. The volunteers at Called to Care are responsible for securing housing, finding employment, navigating medical insurance, transportation and more.
Volunteers who join a Good Neighbor Team, like Sheila Reynolds, work with the families one-on-one to provide them with all of the resources they may need. Sheila said that she has greatly enjoyed the experience of being on a Good Neighbor Team, and she felt “blessed” when a family came into their care. “You’re helping them to find new life in the US, but you get more out of it than you give.”
Sheila reflected back on working to find employment for three adult children who came to the US with their family. They spoke with each of them individually to find out what their visions were for their lives in the US. The Good Neighbor Team was ultimately able to create a plan which allowed them to work towards their goals.
A Shared Mindset
When Meg Huff first joined Called to Care, she felt empowered by the collective desire to do good. Sharing a passion for refugee work, Meg felt that “we all have to do something to fight oppression and injustice in the world.” Huff is Vice President of Called to Care Canandaigua and has been with them for over a year. She expressed that teamwork is the key to creating change. “When we all work together, we can accomplish a lot; much more than if we were working alone.”
Janet Olexy, a volunteer with Called to Care, emphasized Huff’s message on teamwork. She feels “blessed by the number of people that are from different churches, and organizations and community groups, coming together.” Janet joined about a year ago, taking the opportunity to help those “in need of compassion and care.” Called to Care encourages local people to offer hospitality to refugees, establishing a strong community of welcoming and love.
If you feel called to serve refugees, consider volunteering with World Relief. Help us create change that lasts.
By Mallory Schake
Mallory is a Marketing Intern with World Relief Western NY for the Fall of 2023. She is a Media and Communication Major at St. John Fisher University, where she is the Editor In Chief for the school’s newspaper, the Cardinal Courier. She is passionate about storytelling and can often be found writing or taking photos.