Refugee Assistance and Friendship Teams (RAFT) Collecting Donations and Soliciting Team Members

Following an Open House on May 11, 2016, with Director of Refugee Focus Craig Thoresen, several people from PVUMC and our Tri-faith Salaam-Chai-Paradise group have volunteered to serve together and sponsor refugee families through Refugee Focus, .


The new group, called Refugee Assistance and Friendship Teams (RAFT), includes Karen Ouzts and Keith Sobraske, who have volunteered to lead the Steering Committee along with other participants in the PVUMC Interfaith Initiative, which includes members from Missions, Church and Society and Adult Learning ministry teams. While the Steering Committee will guide the group’s efforts, the program also includes a Support Team to handle donations and Core Teams to form relationships with the refugee famiilies. If you have an interest in participating on one of the teams associated with the project, please contact Karen Ouzts at or Keith Sobraske at We are also looking for able-bodied persons who can help move furniture as part of the process of collecting and placing furnishings for refugee apartments. If you have a strong back and enjoy moving, please let us know.


Pam Poley and Russ Mosser co-lead the support team, which is collecting donations of furniture and household good for the refugee families. Our goal is to furnish their apartment before the family arrives. The needs include everything from toilet paper and laundry detergent to dishes and dining room chairs and a table.


Click here for the list of items needed for a family’s apartment. If you have something to donate, please email, and include a contact phone number, the condition of your items (include a photo if possible), and whether or not you can transport the items or not. Someone will contact you about how to drop off or pick up your item. Thank you for supporting our new interfaith initiative as we continue our mission to be God’s love in action.

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