As a refugee resettlement organization, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is responsible for setting up households for clients prior to their arrival in Wichita.  As part of this responsibility, the IRC must also provide the most basic necessities.  Just a few of the necessary items include:  a bed, blanket and pillow, as well as a bowl, cup, fork and a spoon per person.  Clients are also provided the essential items to safely prepare food, a pot to boil water with and a pan to cook food.  In addition, basic hygiene items, including a towel, wash cloth, soap and razors.

The members of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church (Wichita, KS) have pledged to provide items necessary for household set-up and care.  Items such as paper towels, trash bags, dish soap, all purpose cleaner, laundry detergent and light bulbs are some of the items donated by members of the congregation.  “People are bringing the items to church where they are stored and then delivered to the IRC,” said Lois Harder, Pastor.  IRC’s Case Workers can take the packages with them when they are setting up an apartment.

“We are hopeful that by providing these household items, the newly arriving families will be able to use their resources on other necessities, and will feel supported and welcomed into our community.”  Harder said.

These donated items have a big effect on our client’s lives,  saving the individual or family around $40-$60 per household set-up.  Having these items donated, the money that would have been used to purchase these items can be given back to the client and used towards rent or utilities.  The donation of these boxes is not only financially helpful to the client, but also helps to create a community that welcomes refugees and helps them on their path to self-sufficiency.

For more information about ways you or your organization may help the clients served by the IRC, please call 316-261-2795.  Article used with permission from IRC website: