Co-Sponsors, it's time to spring into action!
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Dear Co-Sponsors,

Greetings! We have been really busy over here the last couple months setting up our organization and getting ready to begin welcoming refugees to Northwest Arkansas this fall. But we are pleased to announce we are finally ready to begin working closely with our co-sponsoring teams. In case some of you haven’t heard, we found out last month that we were provisionally approved as a site by the State Department. This was a big and exciting step forward for us, a confirmation that we are headed in the right direction. As of today, there is still not anything in writing, so we are refraining for publicly celebrating just yet, but the day is coming soon!

That being said, we are going forward on the assumption that everything will be finalized very soon and that refugees really will be arriving in Fayetteville in late November… Which means it’s time to get to work!

You are receiving this email because you are part of a team that has signed on to co-sponsor a refugee family. This is a wonderful commitment: you will be our community's ambassadors of welcome. It is also a big commitment: there is a lot that goes into helping a refugee build a new life. As such, the first step of this process for you is to attend a Co-Sponsor Training session. 

We will hold our first training session October 22 from 9am to 2:30 pm at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2925 Old Missouri Rd, Fayetteville.

We will hold co-sponsor trainings once a quarter and we will be requiring all core co-sponsoring team members (minimum of 8 people) to complete the training before we can assign you a family. If some or all of your team are unable to make this training, let us know. We may be able to set up a few make-up sessions, since this is our first go-around, or you might be able to attend our January training instead. We will likely only resettle 3-4 families at the most in this first quarter, anyway, so not all teams need to attend this first session.

Between now and then, we have some homework for you to do:  

    -Meet all together as a team, if you have not done so already, and designate a team leader. This point person will be our main line of communication with your team.

-Begin discussing how your group wants to divide up the following required activities: furnishing the apartment, buying groceries, driving refugees to appointments, practicing English with the refugees, conducting cultural orientation and hosting the refugees for meals/events. We will go over all these in detail at the training, but for now, it would be helpful for you to start discussing internally how you will divide these tasks up.

    -Have your team leader RSVP to about the training by October 1. Please let us know the names of all those who will be attending and the name of your co-sponsoring organization. Canopy will provide lunch and refreshments as part of the training, so we need to know accurate numbers. 

    -Begin fundraising. We put in place a requirement (after we recruited all of you) that all co-sponsoring teams commit to fundraising $1,100 for Canopy to assist with the resettlement costs. Because this was not in place when y’all committed, it’s not required of you. However, it would certainly be helpful to us if you would be able to help us with fundraising. This will give you something tangible to work on as a team even now before refugees begin arriving.

And there you have it! We made up for our long silence by suddenly inundating you with information all at once.  Thank you for joining with us in welcoming and empowering our world's most vulnerable. 

Stay tuned,

Emily Crane Linn

Resettlement Director


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