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Sehaty Foreign Exchange

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Helping refugees in the Washington area

It has been an honor to be part of this group and try to see what I could possibly do for a particular group of people. I'm been extremely inspired by your generosity and vast spirit, especially, by my daughter, Newsha.

When I took on heading the project of supporting the Iranian refugees in the Washington area, it was because no one else volunteered. The next day it hit me how perfect our decision was to support this group as an immediate project. Since we're in the holiday spirit these days, Shab e Yalda, Ramezan, Christmas, Hanukkah, I propose call this: the Holiday Spirit Project! Every time we do something with this project we'll be reminded of the generosity and joyfulness of human beings!

I talked with Paul Johnson, a very active volunteer and Sonia LaFountain, volunteer coordinator/ resource developer with IRC (International Rescue Committee which was founded by Albert Einstein in 1933).

These are the immediate needs:

* Family mentor/ friend : someone or a family becomes their friend. They do what friends do: Support, care and simply be there when they're needed!

* Help with English in person or over the phone

Of course, as the IRC stated in their brochure and their website: is always in need of :

- Reception and Placement Volunteers for new families
- ESL Tutors
- Drivers
- Office Operation Volunteers
- Job Coaches
- Translators/Interpreters
- Donation of furniture and other household goods

Back again to the immediate needs. Right now there are three families with a total of seven children with ages from newborn to teens. There are several young men, and according to Sonia, a total of around twenty Iranian refugees in this area in need of our help! The question is, how can we support these twenty people to the best of our ability?

These are some idea bouncing around inside my head, and I would love to hear how you would like to help:

* Call" Khane e Iran" and ask them to invite the two families with children (not the one with new born) to the Shab e Yalda celebration (the price of dinner and music is $25 pp,and who will pick up the bill?

* Call the new radio program, Payam e Doost, to mobilize the Bahai community to help out some the Bahai new arrivals!

* Invite them to our house for dinner and perhaps not talk about politics, instead listen and provide an atmosphere of fun and lightness!

* Send this email to all my friends and ask for help even for one evening a month.

* Ask Iranian friends with businesses in the computer field if they have openings?

I know you are very busy. But, I also know that playing a part in supporting these people to adjust and orient to the culture here will be of immeasurable help to them. Each small bit of help will make such a big difference. Please let me or Sonia know if you are willing to be of help in any way - in the ways I have mentioned above or in ways you may think of that I haven't.



Mitra Lore
Tel: 301-424-0913

Sonia LaFountain
Tel: 202-822-0043 ext. 19


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