CARR Program Updates, Upcoming Events, and More!
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Inside this issue: Lots of spring and summer events, community art, and more!
BASKETS OF FUN: Local Church Donates Easter Gifts

For Easter, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon donated 35 baskets to be given to our refugee families. Each basket was created individually for a child based on their gender and age. The baskets included candy, snacks, toys, games, and other fun-filled surprises. These baskets helped us welcome families to the Easter traditions in America!

BELONGING PROJECT: Local Refugees Participate in Welcoming Campaign

Ash Rai (above) is one of many Pittsburgh community members participating in the Sprout Fund's Belonging project. In an effort to continue to promote Pittsburgh's welcoming spirit, Sprout started a design contest for people to create and submit their own artwork to be turned into a yard sign and poster. They are encouraging artists from refugee and immigrant communities to submit designs.

Additionally, they asked local community organizations to hold art-making events to bring the community together and give people a space and opportunity to participate in the Belonging contest. NAMS held one of these events, where we provided art supplies, a space to work, and snacks for people to come and put their ideas on paper. 

Art with Purpose
Each submission is supposed to display a sense of belonging and community. Ash describes his design: "To speak of, a picture paints a thousand words. Here, these flags represent the diverse nationalities and the color of the hands sets for the idea of what the community of Pittsburgh and the community across the country looks like. The circles in the map of the United States depict the role of every individual in the community has to play. On top of this, sports play a great role to build a health community regardless of colors, origin, ethnicity, identity, religion, caste, or region [represented by the football]. Similarly, the portrait signifies that everybody is set free and has the right to freedom.The communities of the United States are inclusive and have been called the melting pot for a long time." (Edited for clarity.) 

Winning the Prize
In addition to being made into a yard sign and poster, the winning design will also receive a $3000 prize. Another 15 designs will be chosen for a "community voices" poster and will receive $100 each.

For more information on this, please visit

Stay up-to-date with everything happening at the Community Assistance & Refugee Resettlement Department! 

Life Skills Training
CARR has been working to train Life Skills Tutors to help refugees learn how to take care of their homes and manage everyday life tasks. Life Skills Tutors go into a family's home to teach them how to use American cleaning products, write checks, store food properly, schedule doctor's appointments, and more. CARR volunteer, Isaac, has also been holding Life Skills Workshops to address issues such as bed bugs, food storage, budgeting, health & nutrition, 

In-Home ESL Tutors
Through the work of volunteers and a partnership with Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC), CARR has been able to provide in-home ESL tutors to families who are not able to attend the in-class lessons through GPLC. These sessions are especially helpful for disabled and elderly individuals, as well as people who work during normal class hours. 

PHOTO STORIES: Our Work in Pictures
The Women's Craft Group outside of the CARR office. 
Valentine's Day jewelry made by one of the women in the Craft Group.
One of the girls who came with her mom to the Women's Craft Group wearing her Valentine's themed jewelry.
Mayor Peduto with our case manager Jaime, one of our Arabic interpreters, Hiba, and a student at the Valentine's Day Card event.
Refugee families making Valentine's Day cards for students from disadvantaged neighborhoods and refugee/immigrant communities.
Isaac, one of our volunteers, leads a tax workshop for Arabic speakers. 
A representative from Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services held tax appointments in the office on Fridays throughout the month of February to offer free tax help to some of our clients.

May 6 -- 2017 Refugee Health & Wellness Festival | 11am-2pm | American Red Cross, 2801 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 | All refugees and immigrants are welcome to join for the annual health fair. We'll have prizes, cooking demos, local service providers, and more! Those in the healthcare field are also welcome to attend. For more info, contact

May 13 -- Spaghetti Benefit Dinner | 2pm-6pm | Roots of Faith, 800 Main St., Pittsburgh, PA 15215 | Join us for this fundraiser dinner benefiting Roots of Faith, Community Assistance & Refugee Resettlement, and the Body & Soul Wellness Center. To learn more and get tickets, call 412-781-1175 or email

June 21 -- Pittsburgh's World Refugee Day | 11am-2pm | Market Square (Downtown), Pittsburgh, PA 15222 | Come out for Pittsburgh's annual World Refugee Day celebration! Enjoy food, art, crafts, music, and more from the cultures and countries of our city's refugee communities. Stay tuned for more info!

TBD in June -- Refugee & Immigrant Job Fair | Time TBD | Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS), 1 Smithfield St., Lower Level, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 | If you are a refugee or immigrant interested in attending the annual career fair, keep an eye out for more details!

More events coming soon! Stay updated through our Facebook page and email list to find out about our latest fundraisers and community events!

For more information about events, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2071 or at, or stay updated through the NAMS Facebook page.


Volunteer -- Volunteers play an integral role in helping us welcome and serve refugees. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to engage with refugees and help them integrate into our community as they start their new lives. Opportunities include:
  • Mentoring refugee families on basic life skills
  • Helping to navigate the public transit system 
  • Connecting refugees to community and social service providers
Anyone interested in these opportunities can call 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or email to find out more.

Donate -- We work hard to make refugees feel welcome in their homes. Your donations of gently-used goods, including kitchenware, personal hygiene products, and furniture are greatly appreciated. We also welcome monetary donations. For a more detailed list of currently-accepted donations and information on how to donate materially and financially, please contact us at 412-781-1175 ext. 2248 or at

TASTE OF HOME: Recipe from our Refugee Communities
Found throughout the Middle East and surrounding regions, dolma is a traditional dish that typically consists of grape leaves and other variants of vegetables stuffed with a combination of meat, rice, and vegetables.

  • 1 c. uncooked rice (basmati or jasmine is best)
  • 1 lbs. lamb meat, minced
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) grape leaves
  • 1 small to medium sized eggplant
  • 1 small head cabbage
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 medium to large sized potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3/4 c. tomato sauce
  • Spice mix (1 pinch ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. paprika)
  • 6 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Sugar (as needed, to balance out lemon and salt)
  • 1 can of lima beans
  • Chicken (enough to cover bottom of large pot)
  1. Soak rice in hot water for 10 minutes and drain.
  2. Soak grape leaves in hot water for 20 min. and drain.
  3. Cut stem off cabbage and allow leaves to slightly soften in boiling water.
  4. Brown both sides of chicken and place in the bottom of a large pot.
  5. Core the eggplant; chop up the inside into very small pieces. Save the shell.
  6. Chop up the tomatoes, potatoes, onions, celery, and garlic into very small pieces.
  1. In a large bowl, mix together rice, minced lamb, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, parsley, and garlic.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the tomato paste, tomato sauce, pomegranate molasses, lemon, salt, seasoning mix, and a little bit of sugar.
  3. Combine these two bowls and mix together.
  4. Place and roll the rice mixture inside the grape leaves. Place each roll into the pot on top of the chicken to form one layer.
  5. After that layer, stuff the mixture inside the eggplant and make another layer on top of the grape leaves.
  6. Do the same with the cabbage leaves.
  7. Continue to do this, making sure to end the final layer with either grape leaves or cabbage leaves. (It’s best to have fewer layers so that it cooks better.)
  8. If you want, you can put lima beans over the top layer.
  9. Pour in the oil and pour in enough water to reach 1” below the top layer. You can also add in additional lemon juice, salt, and pomegranate molasses.
  10. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 35 minutes or until rice is cooked. (If water gets low and the rice is still uncooked, you can add more water.)
  11. Once finished, serve and enjoy!
Because dolma is eaten throughout the Middle East, Southeast Europe, and North Africa, each person makes it their own way. This is just one of the many ways to make this delicious dish!
Use the links below to connect with us on social media, check out our website, and share this newsletter.
Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Community Assistance and Refugee Resettlement (CARR)
209 13th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
412-781-1175 ext. 2248
CARR website

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CARR · 209 13th Street · Pittsburgh, PA 15215 · USA

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