Viets for Afghans is excited to announce that we are participating in the newly created Sponsor Circle Program! This is a novel initiative by the White House, based on a similar program in Canada, to expedite the resettlement of thousands of refugees still stuck on military bases in the US.
Sponsor Circles can be formed by any five individuals, either on their own or under a formal entity such as a grassroots community-based organization like V4A. There is an extensive application and vetting process each group goes through to ensure its members understand their responsibilities and are ready for the challenging tasks ahead. There is a minimum three-month commitment, and Sponsor Circles are financially obligated to raise $2275 per person they sponsor. Since these Circles are volunteer driven, this entire amount is used towards the resettlement needs of the sponsored family such as rent, food, and transportation.
Viets for Afghans reached out to members of the Afghan community in Seattle and is honored to be partnering with a local family on this journey. On November 16, 2021, we submitted an application for their family of six currently at Fort Dix, New Jersey. There is no guarantee we will be matched with this particular family, but we are optimistic. While we wait for the process to move forward, LET’S ORGANIZE!
We have raised $15,000 from a Sponsor Circle member for our first family, but we’re not stopping there! JOIN US in raising more funds to sponsor additional families with ties to the Seattle area. As former refugees and children of refugees who were once sponsored from the refugee camps, we feel strongly that our time is NOW to pay it forward and complete this circle of compassion and care towards our newest neighbors.
Ways you can contribute to Viets for Afghans’ Sponsor Circles
Donate Money: 100% of this money will go towards the family’s resettlement costs such as rent, food, and local transportation. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/viets4afghans
Donate Goods: new/gently used furniture, household supplies, winter clothing, toiletries, food staples, toys, gift certificates. Any items not distributed will be brought to Afghan community organizations such as MAPS-MCRC.
Donate Time: We are looking for folks with expertise in areas such as immigration law, housing, employment, or public benefits programs. Or organize your own group to gather money and goods to make an even greater impact!
Viets for Afghans is mobilizing the Vietnamese American diaspora to provide a crucial helping hand to Afghans outside the United States through humanitarian parole. Similar to the parole program after the Vietnam War, humanitarian parole is a pathway for Afghans to come to the US temporarily for urgent humanitarian reasons. But countless Afghans cannot apply because they cannot find a sponsor or cannot afford to pay the costly application fee ($575/person).
In light of recent application denials from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Viets for Afghans is pushing forward with providing supplement support for humanitarian parole applicants who can provide proof of endangerment that will satisfy USCIS’s new and higher standard of proof. At the same time, Viets for Afghans stands with fellow organizations in condemning this unrealistic and predatory standard and joins the call for the US Government to approve more humanitarian parole applications and implement a more realistic and equitable standard for accepting humanitarian parole applications. We signed onto an advocacy letter created by Project ANAR on this matter, which you can view here.
If you want to contact our Humanitarian Parole team or would like to volunteer with us, please contact HP@vietsforafghans.org.