The metal counter top of the serving window in Luther Place’s kitchen was bare at 5:30pm on the Monday before Thanksgiving. A few individuals shuffled about decorating tables and preparing food, as youth from all over the world began trickling through the door with their foster families.
Ana Lainez, the Youth Resettlement Specialist for LSS/NCA’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) Program, had been planning the URM Thanksgiving Celebration for over a month and the event was finally underway. Two hours later, there was not an inch of free space on that metal counter top or the two additional tables that had to be brought in to serve food. The room was filled with chatter in English, Spanish, Tigrinya, Farsi, and Swahili as the food slowly disappeared. Foster parents bragged about the youth living in their homes and traded stories of memories they had created as a family. In the corner, Burmese and Honduran youth conversed in broken English after having met for the first time.
This past winter was just the beginning. Every day we give thanks for the community’s support–support that enables us to find homes and serve more children. . The URM program has grown to 32 youth (from 5 at the beginning of 2014), hired 3 new staff, and added over 10 new foster families in the past year. Gratefully departing refugee camps, shelters, extreme poverty, and violence, these 32 youth have been given the opportunity to begin a new life in the United States because of your support.
Your support helps us create families each and every day. If you are interested in becoming licensed as a foster parent/caregiver and joining LSS/NCA in the effort of creating families, please contact Patricia at (202) 723-3000 x254