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Faith In Action: Refugees' New Homes — Long-term (45 minutes), Session 2: Symbols of Faith

In "Creating Home," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Contact a refugee aid association for a list of needed items. Find out what kinds of donations they might accept.
  • You may plan to bring the donations yourself. Or, you can arrange for a "delegation" of children to bring them, some weeks down the road. If children will come with you, make an arrangement that is convenient for parents as well as for the refugee aid association. Use your congregation's standard permission form. Secure adult volunteers to help with transportation and supervision as needed.
  • Optional: If you are bringing children, try to arrange for someone who works at the refugee aid association to speak with the group about how donations help refugees get settled. Alert your contact at the refugee aid association that the children are studying both the material and the intangible functions a family home serves.
  • Post a blank sheet of newsprint.

Description of Activity

Sometimes people need to leave their family home forever. Wars and natural disasters are the most common reasons.

Ask the children if they can think of any situations like that. Some may be aware of the Gulf Coast hurricanes; others may know a family who came to the U.S. from another country because of a war.

Tell the children that people often give money or time to help refugees create new family homes. Ask the group what they think a refugee family might need for their new home. You may want to remind them about the importance of a threshold, if they have investigated thresholds in Session 1. Maybe a family would like something to decorate the threshold of their new home.

List the children’s suggestions on the newsprint. You need not write down every idea, but be sure to thank all contributors for their ideas.

Complete the list with information you have obtained about the donations a refugee aid association will welcome. Compare with the brainstorm. What needed items surprise participants?

Make a plan for collecting items to provide to the refugee organization. If you have created a permission slip and/or a request for parent volunteers, distribute these now.

See Session 3, Faith in Action: Refugees’ New Homes for next steps in implementing this long-term activity.

FAITH IN ACTION: HOMELESS PEOPLE’S NEEDS – SHORT-TERM (45 MINUTES)

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITY

  • Personal care items donated for homeless people
  • Locking plastic bags

PREPARATION FOR ACTIVITY

  • Contact a local agency that serves homeless adults or families and offer to donate a number of personal care kits. Find out what kinds of donations the agency would like.
  • Invite parents, other congregants, and/or a local hotel to donate new (unused) personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap packets, wash cloths, small tissue packages, and bottles of shampoo or skin lotion.
  • Purchase locking plastic bags large enough to hold the items each child will combine to make a personal care kit for a homeless person.

 

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY

Children will internalize the chalice story by participating in a Faith in Action project to help homeless people, who are refugees in our own country. This special population needs care, concern, and practical help to find the everyday comforts of home without a permanent place to live.

Arrange for the children to make personal care kits to distribute at an agency that serves homeless adults or families. Children can bring new, unused tooth brushes, soap packets, and other items to include in the bags. Add these to items you have secured from local hotels’ housekeeping departments.

Children can sort the donated items – toothpaste, shampoo, etc. – and then package a variety of items into each plastic bag. You can have children make an assembly line and pass each bag around, or allow each child to carry a bag around the circle to select items for one bag at a time.

You may like to have the children draw pictures to include in the bags. Adults should deliver the personal care bags to the homeless agency.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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