As an organization supported largely by donations from individuals and churches, we tend to be agile and nimble. This means that we are untethered to requirements that some larger organizations have, often limiting their ability to shift easily in a crisis. As a result, we have adapted quickly over the past few weeks as Afghans have started arriving in Amarillo. We have been working hard to connect these parolees with local mentors. Read more about the differences between the terms refugee and parolee here.
This is David (pseudonym). He just arrived in Amarillo at the end of October. Less than two months ago, he was studying computer science in Kabul and testing out new entrepreneurial ideas to start a business. Now he’s in the Panhandle figuring out how to get to the grocery store, where he can play soccer, and how to reestablish communication with family back home in Afghanistan. Through our relationships in this city, we were able to connect him with a mentor who shares his interest in computers and soccer. We aren’t David’s savior in this scenario, but we can sure be his advocate and friend.
Be a Mentor
We are currently supporting the efforts of local resettlement agencies as they resettle over 200 Afghans like David in Amarillo before January. We need your help to rise to the challenge! These families and individuals need friends who will step up and be a consistent, familiar face to help them figure out how to thrive in a new place. Will you or your small group consider mentoring an individual or family? We provide training and ongoing support for our mentors, and gather quarterly to connect, share stories and build a community of people who share the same interests.
Do you want to be a part of these crucial connections? Click here to email our mentorship coordinator and tell her that you’re interested.
Not only are we aiming to connect every Afghan we can into a mentorship, but we are also developing informational materials in a variety of languages spoken by refugees. This includes information about our schools, healthcare and other important services. Those things all take time and money. Keep reading to hear about a unique way you can support these projects by giving to RLP at the end of the month.
The Panhandle Gives 2021
November is the perfect time to donate during The Panhandle Gives campaign! The Panhandle Gives is an annual event hosted by the Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF) as a fundraiser for local non-profits. The event begins on the Monday before Thanksgiving and ends on Giving Tuesday. This year, that’s November 22 – November 30, 2021. If you give through this campaign, RLP will receive 100% of your donation. The AAF is once again generously covering all credit card and platform fees! In addition to your donations, RLP will also receive a percentage match of all gifts given during the campaign! Those extra dollars come from the Amplification Fund, made up of money given from foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. It was established by AAF to AMPLIFY the amount of money participating organizations receive.
This year our goal is $30,000. Those funds will allow us to continue to respond to an influx of unexpected Afghan parolees, produce information booklets, connect people into mentorships and support the formation of a refugee leadership council. If you are a regular donor, have never given before, or are considering a year-end gift to a local non-profit, please save that donation for this campaign! You won’t be able to give online until November 22, but you can click here now to bookmark our giving page on the Panhandle Gives website. Mark your calendars for 11/22!
Vision and Mission
RLP exists so that “individuals from refugee communities in the Amarillo area are increasingly flourishing as they confidently interact with the world around them, enabling them to honor God with their lives.” We accomplish this vision by removing the language barriers refugees face, honoring their cultures so they can integrate without sacrificing their heritages, overcoming relational and emotional hurdles to build leaders within their communities, facilitating systemic solutions for long-term issues, and engaging with local churches.