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Family Bios: December 3, 2016

We will have 2 Delivery teams this weekend for a total of 6 families.

Delivery #1

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Our first family is a husband and wife and their two year old son from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The mother is also pregnant and due in February.  The family resettled to America almost 2 months ago.  The father fled DRC four years ago due to the war going on there and lived in a camp in Uganda.  His wife’s family fled DRC over twenty years ago and had lived in the camp in Uganda all that time.  The father worked as a DJ while still living in DRC, and then learned to be a farmer in the camp.  He hopes to find work soon, preferably in the music industry.  Most of their family remains at the refugee camp or DRC, but the wife’s brother who was resettled to America at the same time as them. He was an interpreter while at the refugee camp and speaks proficient English.  They are all happy to be in America.

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Our second family is from Somalia consisting of a father, mother and their 9 year old son. The family resettled to America almost 2 months ago.  In Somalia, the father worked as a successful farmer and goat herder, with over 200 goats.  He fled Somalia in 1992 and lived in the refugee camp in Kenya.  He met his wife in the camp and their son was born there.  The mother plans to be a homemaker, the son will be enrolled in school soon, and the father is looking for work with help from his resettlement agency.  He hopes to find work caring for animals.

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Our third family is from Democratic Republic of Congo, consisting of a father, mother, their 2 sons, age 9 and 7, and a daughter aged 3.  They arrived in America a little over 2 months ago.  The mother’s family fled DRC in 1992 and lived in a camp in Tanzania.  The mother and father met in the camp and all 3 children were born there.  The father has already found employment, and the two older children are enrolled in school.

Delivery #2

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Our first family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo consisting of a husband and wife and their adult son.  The father was a French teacher and traveled back and forth from Rwanda to DRC.  He worked at a school in DRC where he met his wife, a Geography teacher.  The violence in DRC escalated and they fled to a camp in Tanzania.  They have been in the US for 2 months.  They are expecting one of their other children and their 3 grandchildren to be resettled to Phoenix as well in the coming months.  The husband also understand English well and speaks proficiently.   They are happy to be in America and start their new lives.

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Our second family is from Afghanistan, consisting of a husband and wife.  The husband worked for the US Military and thus his life was in danger.  They were granted a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and came to America less than a month ago.  The wife’s brother also worked for the US Military, was granted a SIV 2 years ago, speaks fluent English and is helping them to integrate.

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Our third family is a single woman from Iran.  She fled Iran due to persecution from the government due to her religion, Bahai.  She stayed in Turkey until she was resettled to the US 6 months ago.  She obtained a Bachelors and Masters in Psychology before fleeing Iran, and worked as a counselor in Iran and Turkey.  She is currently working at a grocery store, but hopes to be able to transfer her credentials and work as a counselor again.  She understands English well, but is still developing speaking skills.  She is glad to be in America.

 

Family Bios: Nov 19, 2016

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Our first visit is a 26 year old woman from Somalia.  She fled Somalia 8 years ago and lived in Kenya before being resettled to America 2 months ago.  Most of her family remains in Somalia, including her 10 year old daughter, whom she left with her mother before fleeing.  She was originally placed with a roommate, but the roommate has decided to move elsewhere.  She hopes to have a new roommate soon.  She is grateful to be in America, is working on learning English, hopes to find a job soon and eventually apply for reunification with her daughter.

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Our second  visit is a young 20 year old man from Eritrea.  At age 15 he was taken from school and his family to fight in the Eritrean military.  He escaped to Ethiopia where he stayed for 5 years.  His 14 year old brother arrived with him and was placed with a foster family through the unaccompanied minor program.  He is able to visit with his brother biweekly.  His mother, father, and 9 other siblings remain in Eritrea.  He was a very good student in Eritrea, and also learned some English there.  He understands English well, but has difficulty speaking it.  Right now he is focusing on developing his English and hopes to study computers.  He also loves music and played the piano in Eritrea.

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Our third visit is

Our third visit is with two roommates who came from Cuba.  One was a Dentist and the other was a Physical Therapist.  They enrolled in the Cuban Medical Professional Program where they were sent to Venezuela.  They then escaped and traveled to Columbia, then Miami, then Phoenix.  The entire journey from Venezuela to Phoenix took 2 years.  One has recently begun working and the other has a job she will start soon.  Both are glad to be in America.

2016 ARIZONA TAX CREDIT – IT’S UP TO YOU!

Arizona State law allows those who pay state taxes to redirect up to $400 ($800 for jointly filing couples) to qualifying charitable organizations, like The Welcome to America Project. Any amount that is given is then deducted, dollar for dollar, from the total amount of owed state taxes. So, if you owe $400 in state taxes, and you gave away $400 to qualifying charitable organizations, you will have to pay $0 to the state at tax time. It’s that simple! You can take part of your taxes and spend them directly at organizations you know are doing good work for our community.

Here’s what you need to know:

HOW MUCH CAN I GIVE?
The law allows individuals to give up to $400, and jointly filing couples can give up to $800.

CAN I GIVE TO MORE THAN ONE ORGANIZATION?
Yes. The maximum allowed may be divided amongst multiple qualifying organizations.

DO ALL CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS QUALIFY?
No. A full list of qualifying organizations is available at the AZ Department of Revenue website.  (https://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/QualifyingCharitableOrganizations.aspx)

CAN I USE ALL THE TAX CREDIT PROGRAMS IN THE SAME YEAR?
Yes. If you give to your public or private school, you can also make a tax credit contribution to a charitable organization and a separate one to Foster Care Charitable Organizations, too. Please note that the maximum contributions for each program are different.

HOW DO I CLAIM THE CREDIT?
Complete Department of Revenue Fprm 321. You do not need to itemize deductions to claim this credit. Please consult a tax expert if you have specific questions.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?
Beginning in 2016, the deadline for claiming a tax credit is April 15. Credits donated on or before this day may be applied to either the current or preceding taxable year. Many people like to make their contribution by Dec. 31, the end of the fiscal year for accounting purposes.

 

 

Family Bios: Nov 12, 2016

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Our first family is a husband and wife who fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo 20 years ago and stayed in a refugee camp in Rwanda until they were resettled to the US 5 weeks ago.  The husband worked as a farmer and herder in DRC, and then learned to operate textiles machinery to manufacture and tailor clothes while living in Rwanda.  They are very appreciative to be in our country and are working hard to improve their English skills while their resettlement agency helps them look for jobs.

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Our second family is from Somalia, consisting of a mother, and her three daughters, age 10, 12, and 16.  Crime and gangs were rampant in Somalia, food and jobs were scarce, making day to day life dangerous.  The family fled Somalia 8 years ago and lived in the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya, before being resettled to the US in August. They are very pleased to be in Phoenix.  They children are enrolled in school and the mother and eldest daughters see much opportunity for themselves and the younger children in our country.

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Our third family is a mother and her young son who fled from Eritrea.  They fled to Djibouti during the Eritrean Civil War.  They stayed in Djibouti until being resettled to the US in August.