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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Refugees Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Human Services, Immigration, Job Training, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to care for refugees through relationships and opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment as they become contributing members of society.

Results: -- Strong presence in the community; people like us -- 500 lives impacted last year -- 8 programs expanded through increased funding, staffing and volunteering -- Expected continued growth in 2011

Target demographics: Refugees with significant resettlement needs; Low-income families; Children and youth

Programs: Summer Camp, Mommy and Me Family Literacy (English for mothers with small children), Cafe Clarkston (for computer and job skills training), After-School Tutoring, Community Garden, Food and Clothing Distribution, "Embrace" (birthing information and assistance).

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rhonda6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I interned at this camp last year my junior semester. I developed so many relationships with so many kids. My passion is to do relief and development work fulltime. Scott and Tiffany are strong good people who open there homes to a lot of kids. It's my prayer and always have been that Friends of Refugees get the money they need and the headquarters to really help out the community and impact then like never before. If I could help out this summer, I would.

Donor

Rating: 5

When you know who Scott and Tiffany are, you can understand how our God chose them. They are in a work, way over their heads in the ability to help a l l those who are in their need reach. They are humbled because of how much more they recognize God has given them to do and without the power to be 100% able. So, like so many of us, they simply look up and thank God and ask for His help to bring wondrous lightning out of God's responses (Thine is the Kingdom,Thine is the Power, Thine is the Glory forever). One life at a time. One day at a time, for the honor of their Lord and Savior, for the Father in Heaven, and for the Counselor Holy Spirit. Thank you Scott and Tiffany for your dedicated lives (and for the influence of your children) and for all those who work with you, who support you, and those whom you are serving, loving them as Christ loved those around him. Be His aroma. Charles Helm (Lake Mary Florida)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked at The Summer spectacular for July camp in the year 2010 and 2011. Friends of Refugees does a great job getting involved in the comminity and does lots of things to help everyone. I was able to work with kids over the summer that attend Summer spectacular. It was great just to learn about all the different cultures and see just how different God made us. The experience was very humbling and taught me a lot about serving others. Friends of Refugees always goes the extra mile to bless everyone around them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer was my first experience volunteering with F of R. My 6th grade daughter and I helped out with the summer camp. We were amazed by how open the children were, and interested to try new activities, sports, crafts, as well as the academic portion of the day. Camp was extremely well organized and well run. But I was most impressed with the love that was poured out upon these children. After summer camp I signed up for the newsletter. Both my experience at camp and reading the newsletters shows that F of R has a heart that strongly reaches out to show the love of Jesus.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friends of Refugees is a great organisation! I've support through monthly giving for years and recently had the opportunity to see their work first hand by volunteering at the Summer Spectacular camp. What an experience! Was a privilege to meet the refugee families and see the pact that FoR's programs make.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was looking for a place to make a difference in my community and maybe even the world! Big aspirations. Friends of Refugees is a place to do just that. With so many people from all over the world coming to live in my neighborhood, I am delighted to be able to work with Friends of Refugees. Helping the kids with their homework, listening to them read, or just sitting and chatting is such a pleasure. The relationships that I am able to build with the children are very meaningful. Recently a young girl asked me to help her as she wrote a story. She wrote of being lost without friends and then finding friends. Then those friends had to move but she wrote that she would always remember them. It was insightful to hear her write of loss. We talked some of her move. I think that this kind of experience is not only educationally helpful but gave her a way of expressing her feelings. I am honored to be a part of Friends of Refugees.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization makes a difference in lives of many people who desperately need it. It helps the children with school work and motivates them to do well in their education. It also fosters relationships based on mutual trust and friendships. It is amazing to see the positive influence this organization has on the children who start their new lives in America.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Friends of Refugees in Clarkston, GA since 2001 & have seen lives changed, especially mine, as a result of new perspective.

My wife & I have become lifelong friends with an Iranian family. We met them two weeks after they arrived; were there for the birth of their kids; and they spend most of the holidays with our family.

I made the trip to the airport to help welcome a Somalian family to the United States. Having lived in a refugee camp for 10 years before resettlement, the conditions they lived in were unimaginable to me. What an amazing opportunity to witness their first phone call from a cell phone---ever! Their first time seeing / using a washing machine...cooking in their own apartment...the feeling is pure joy to help someone by being a 'friend' & assisting as they assimilate to life in America.

Donor

Rating: 5

I like to donate to smaller, well-run organizations that also have a heart for their clients. Friends of Refugees in Clarkston, GA, certainly meets those criteria. I have personally witnessed the love that they reflect out to the community they serve, and it is purposefully the love of Jesus that they are reflecting. They have carved a niche in the area of service to refugees, and it has been a pleasure to watch the organization mature.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work in a refugee resettlement office where I work to place new refugees in their first job in the USA. Friends of Refugees runs an internet cafe where they help make resumes for clients I refer to them. I have never seen an organization with such reliable and consistent volunteer infrastructure. When they say a project will get done, it gets done almost invariably and actually WHEN they say it will get done. That kind of consistency is so hard to find in non-profits. Additionally I work with them on the community garden they operate and it has been such an amazing miracle to see the steady flow of volunteers they attract that help the refugee gardeners have what the need and a safe and peaceful environment in which to get in touch with the very work of creation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am involved with Friends of Refugees through my church. We interact with the children by organizing block parties every few months and are helping with the materials for Summer Camp. The leaders and volunteers involved with F of R in Clarkston truly love these refugee families and are serving them in so many ways: after school tutoring, mom's groups, sewing classes, computer skills, and summer camp. Most of all, they are forming positive, personal relationships with the children and their parents.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Friends of Refugees is an awesome organization that helps UN resettled refugees from war torn or impoverished nations around the world who get settled in Clarkston, GA (the largest refugee center in the Southeast). They help families adjust to all aspects of life in America such as finances, housing, language, school, employment, etc.

Friends of Refugees has also been extremely focused on reaching out and building bridges of community and friendship between people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. It is also one of the only organizations of it's kind that is active in this area. Very few residents of the metro Atlanta area (right outside Clarkston) are even aware that such a melting pot of different cultures exists in their own backyard. Friends of Refugees has helped reduce this by bringing in local groups and churches as volunteers.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a small but mighty organization. Those involved work tirelessly with refugees in all areas of their lives. My husband and I have personally supported the directors of this program for many years and our donation followed them from their previous Christian organization to Friends. We did this because we have seen their hearts...unselfishly giving to others in the name of Jesus Christ. They have taken these people into their heart and their home. There are no "numbers" here. These are individuals whose lives have been changed because of their contact with Friends of Refugees. I have no concerns whatsoever that my monthly gift is used responsibly. Like so many organizations these days, I am sure that support would be welcomed whether it be monetary, volunteering or gifts in-kind. Whatever you can do for them I know will be appreciated. I feel very blessed to have a small part in this wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I worked closely with Friends of Refugees (FOR) for an entire year (Summer Spectacular '08-'09 and other programs), and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the organization. The relationships formed were invaluable in multiple ways, and I will always have warm memories of Clarkston, GA. FOR is highly recommended for anyone looking to serve the refugee population in a flexible, yet professional environment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Mommy & Me teaching refugee women in classrooms divided by their level of English fluency. It is a very professionally run program with well trained and committed teachers. Providing childcare for the women is an essential component to their success in the classroom but Mommy & Me takes the extra step of encouraging the mothers to be English teachers to their own children. The enthusiasm and dedication of the teachers sets a wonderful tone for the school! I loved working with the women and experiencing their growth in English language skills and feelings of accomplishment as they progressed into the next level. I think the program is one of the best refugee education programs in the area and deserves consistent funding! If I wasn't a full-time student now, I would continue to volunteer with the program.

David D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From what I've obeserved...the Mommy and Me program that's under Friends of Refugee does an excellent job of not only teaching English, but also equipping refugee mothers and their children for the real world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seyoum comes every day the Cafe is open, and we apply for jobs each time. He wants to be a security officer. He's a bit older, but I know that we will find the right job for him.
We were able to find a labor job for Misgana, even though his specialty is in IT. As we build his resume, I'm sure that he will be able to land an IT job.
Nestor says that even though there isn't a job for him yet, we encourage him by our helpfulness and persistence.
The leaders of the organization actively seek how they can help refugees, which leads to practical programs. The community garden is like a taste of home to refugees who farmed. The mommy and me literacy program partners with mothers, so that the first teacher the child has is their parent.
The organization truly helps create and train refugees how to be contributing members of society.