What are Welcome Teams?
Welcome Teams (also known as Church Co-Sponsors) are a unique model where a group of volunteers (typically from a house of worship) is paired with a newly arrived refugee family. This partnership helps to meet the social, emotional and material needs of newly arriving refugees. During the refugees first days and weeks in Arizona, Welcome Teams are friends who offer emotional support and encouragement during an often difficult transition.
Welcome Teams take on a variety of roles, which might include:
- Setting up an apartment for an arriving refugee individual or family
- Rental assistance
- Collecting furnishing and household items
- Collecting seasonal clothing and hygiene supplies
- Purchasing groceries for initial arrival
- Greeting refugees at the airport when they arrive
- Preparing a welcome meal for refugees immediately upon arrival
- Accompanying to medical appointments and advocating for healthcare needs
- Helping with English skills
- Financial education
- Job development
- Transportation assistance for situations where public transportation isn't available
- Community Guide to help refugees become more acclimatated with the community
Welcome Teams also offer many benefits to the congregation they are paired with, including cross-cultural missions, hands-on volunteer opportunities, and a way to truly show God's love for all people.