Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How can your group Support Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network?

We have been receiving support from Tucson faith communities and other Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) for years now. We are grateful for that support, and want to explain how you might be our next liaison between your FBO or civic group to enable Iskashitaa to assist even MORE refugees in our community. How can groups work cooperatively with us? Become that missing link for Iskashitaa today!

Catalina United Methodist Church’s youth group organized a day of harvesting. For weeks, they advertised the project in their bulletins, requesting members and guests to provide addresses of fruit trees to harvest. On the designated Sunday afternoon, the youth harvested the fruit and delivered it to the Iskashitaa office from 8 different properties. The youth and volunteers ended the evening with a celebratory dinner at the church.

During this citrus season the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson regularly organize fruit harvests of their own trees and their neighbors’ trees. Each week the members bring the bounty of their harvests to their Sunday services, and one volunteer brings the crates to our headquarters. You could organize something in your neighborhood through the neighborhood association or among friends or other civic groups.

Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Parish takes another route to support Iskashitaa efforts to improve Tucson refugee lives. Iskashitaa Refugee Sewing and Crafts Circle provides opportunities for refugees from many countries with a wide variety of languages and faith backgrounds to socialize, enhance their crafting skills, practice English, and make products for use in their own households or to sell to create sorely needed income. FBOs and other groups can sell refugee-made crafts at their organizations' meetings several times each year. All you need to do is arrange for the selling event to be announced ahead of time, pick up craft items, set up a table, collect money, and record sales!

Iskashitaa means “working cooperatively together”, and it truly does take a communal effort to keep us up and running. If you’d like to increase your current level of involvement, please call Natalie Brown at 928-503-7496 or email her at natalie.sue.brown@gmail.com.

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