Cleveland Park Congregational UCC is raising money to benefit Albert, an asylum seeker in the Washington, DC area (name changed to protect identity).
Albert is desperate for employment to support his three young children and mother in Africa (name of country omitted to protect identity). However, his job options as an asylum seeker are severely restricted. He has been awaiting a decision on his work permit application for months, and without such a permit one of the only jobs legally available is driving for a rideshare company such as Uber. Fortunately, drivers are needed both for this and for errands and deliveries while people stay home due to COVID-19. Our church, Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, hopes to raise the capital needed to purchase Albert a pre-owned vehicle, so he can begin to earn an income in support of his family. He already has a valid driver's license.
When Albert fled persecution and torture in his country of origin, he put his three young children in the care of his mother and father. Just six months into his journey, Albert was hit with the news that his father had died unexpectedly from colon cancer and his home had been destroyed by a flood. This left Albert as the only breadwinner for his mother and children, yet he was barely surviving in the U.S.
With the precarious situations here and abroad, Albert constantly worries about his family. Due to poor cellular and internet connectivity in their village, Albert isn't able to talk with them frequently. He misses his children greatly and can't wait to start working and sending money to support them. School, food, housing, and medicine are all costs Albert's mother can't cover on her own. Compounding this is concern for his own health. A medical evaluation in support of Albert's application for asylum identified a tumor that requires additional visits and testing. He worries about the medical bills, and what he'll do if the tumor requires surgery.
While life as an asylum seeker is difficult, Albert is grateful for the many individuals who have assisted him. He is no longer homeless, having been offered a room by a member of our church who welcomed him in. He is also a client of a non-profit organization that provides legal guidance and resources to asylum seekers.
Our church cannot remove all of Albert's challenges, the trauma he's experienced, or the immigration maze in which he finds himself, but we can help him find a way to support himself and his family. In a time when many of us wonder how to help, here is a father, three children, and a grandmother who clearly need us. Would you please donate to help this man, a survivor of persecution who has come to the U.S. hoping for a new life, acquire the means to support his family? Please join us in doing more than offering thoughts and prayers; let us actively help our neighbor!
Thank you in advance for any contribution you are able to make. Your donation will make a difference. Funds raised will go toward the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle (ideally, a minivan so Albert can serve customers with accessibility issues) along with the initial costs associated with vehicle ownership (e.g., registration and insurance). Any excess will help Albert's family repair their flood-damaged home as he begins driving to earn money in support of them.