Report from the Refugee Support Working Group

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Keeping LIFELINE Alive!


For the last 3 years, CHFM has been contributing to the UNHCR program that provides desperately needed cash support for Syrian refugees living in Jordan. Unfortunately, normal fund-raising and educational activities are seriously challenged when we are all quarantining at home!  Even so, the Meeting’s 3-year total contribution to this program has been an amazing $27,000, with this year’s amount being just over $7,000. Thank you to you all!


The refugees’ needs continue, virus or not, probably even more stressfully so in these times.  Members of our Refugee Support working group recently had a wonderful Zoom meeting with two Syrian refugee sisters, Massa and Noor Zantah to discuss fundraising ideas.  Massa is a pulmonologist at Temple U. Hospital here in Philadelphia, Noor an artist in the U.K. They are both dedicated to working to support the millions whose lives have been so destroyed by the Syrian conflict.  We’re hoping to be able to follow through on one or two of their suggestions over the coming year.


For a very moving view of life in a refugee camp in Jordan, we highly recommend watching the documentary “Salam Neighbor”, made by 2 young Americans who lived in a camp and came to be known and accepted there.  Contact Tricia Walmsley (215-248-1514) if you would like to have her deliver this movie to your door. You can also visit the USA for UNHCR website and check out LIFELINE and see for yourself what a difference direct cash assistance can make.


Our support group meets every 4th Sunday via Zoom, following Meeting for Worship. We encourage all of you to participate in the discussion. Look for the Zoom link in the bulletin of the week preceding the meeting. Our co-clerks for this coming year are Beth Zelasky and Pia St. Onge.  Many thanks to Sarah Whitman for her contributions to clerking and to creative projects over the past year. We welcome any and all suggestions for fundraising for LIFELINE.


And finally, a direct appeal to anyone in a position to make a financial contribution, great or small.  To give online, go to:

For a snail mail donation, please make out your check to “USA for UNHCR”, and specify on the memo line “LIFELINE”, with source code V35XX20XXXCH.   That way, they will know the donation is coming from Chestnut Hill.  The mailing address is:  

                                                                                USA for UNHCR

                                                                                Attn. Community Fundraising

                                                                                ßP.O.Box 97114, Washington, DC 20077-7282