Help Us Resettle a Refugee Family
Our names are Maggie Taaffe and Ben Matejka and we are next door neighbors who are working together to co-sponsor a refugee family new to Chicago!
A co-sponsor's duty is to help a refugee family build new lives in America. This means collecting all of the things they need for their apartment—furniture, dishes, toiletries, food and more. Then we set the apartment up so that the family can go from the Airport to their new home that has everything they need to begin their new life in Chicago. It also means that we will teach the family many things, like how to use public transportation, shop at a grocery store, do their laundry just to name a few. And, we will help them learn English so that they do well in school and are able to find employment.
We are able to do this through RefugeeOne--a nonprofit organization in Chicago. We have volunteered with RefugeeOne before and they are truly an amazing organization. But we can’t do it alone, we need YOU to make a difference in this family's life!
Our initial goal was to raise $3,000, but after hearing about the daughter’s medical condition, we believe this family could use additional help so we want to raise $3,000 more to help with any medical-related expenses the family may have. We ask the help of our friends, family and the community to achieve this goal and restore lives of safety, and dignity to this family.
Please donate in the section on the bottom right if you are able and feel free to ask us any questions. Thanks so much for your time and generosity.
Help spread the word about this project by forwarding the following link! http://www.refugeeone.org/ben-and-maggie-project.html
About Ben and Maggie's Co-Sponsored Family
Early January, Ben and Maggie learned that they would be co-sponsoring a Congolese family: a woman named Mariamu and her two children, a 7 year old girl named Rahissa and a 6 year old boy named Joel. Mariamu fled Congo in 2002 and had been living in a refugee camp in Malawi since. Both of her children were born in the camp. Rahissa has severe cerebral palsy and needs complete care.
In February, Mariamu and her children arrived in Chicago. Ben and Maggie prepared everything for their arrival. They set up their apartment and cooked them a Congolese meal the day they arrived. They met them at O’hare airport along with other RefugeeOne staff and a translator.
Since then Ben and Maggie have been spending a lot of time with Mariamu and her children, helping them feel comfortable in their new home.
Maggie describes her experience this way:
"It was so exciting to finally meet them! Mariamu is very eager to learn english and has been practicing by reading English books. Joel is very funny and loves to dance. He went from being very quiet at the airport to full of energy. Rahissa has the cutest laugh and smiles a lot. They seemed very tired when they arrived, but also excited to start their new life in Chicago.
Ben and I walked to the lake while it was snowing with them. Joel loved the snow and we had a snowball fight. When we showed them how to do laundry Mariamu was amazed by how fast the clothes were cleaned with a washing machine. It has been a great experience to help them move in and they have quickly become our good friends."
Thanks for your Support!