How You can make a difference

Refugees

Amani Neighbors Program

The Amani Neighbors Program exists to help bridge the gap between Gateway leaders and volunteers and the refugee and asylee community here in the Austin area. Many refugee families struggle with the very basics of life: food, water, shelter, and jobs. Gateway currently is mobilizing many people and resources to help in these areas. While these needs are irreplaceable, one of the most significant needs that often gets forgotten is relationships. Through the Amani Neighbors Program, we aim to relationally connect leaders and volunteers to not only help aid in meeting physical needs and also begin the process of meeting relational, emotional, and spiritual needs through Jesus. No experience or cultural knowledge is required to participate, only an open humble heart eager to learn. To learn more, please follow the signup button below.

Refugees in Austin

Today, over 70 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Each day that number grows by 44,000. These displaced peoples are called refugees and asylees. Families are fleeing for their lives praying for safety and refuge. At Gateway our desire is to bring the hope and freedom found in Jesus to each of these families as they are placed by the US Government to settle in the Austin area. We believe that God has ultimately determined the times and places where people live so that they would seek Him and find Him. Would you join us as we seek to make this a reality?

Your Generosity

Every dollar given to Gateway beyond our regular budget in the month of December was designated to help care for refugees who are being settled in the Austin Area. Here is how you helped:

Raised $100,000 to serve 100 refugee families!

Developed partnerships with Southside Mkt, Smokey Mo's, Hope Clinic, Fairbank, and SLAB to serve needs holistically

Hired Alliance Samuragwa to mobilize Gateway to serve our growing refugee community

Your Involvement

122/100

Since we launched our Loving Refugees initiative, we’ve been able to serve 122 families (our original goal was 100 families) which represents 492 men, women and children in just 5 months!!!

We have been able to walk alongside these families as they adjust to life in America and help provide them with food, furniture, and job help while also getting to show them the love and freedom that life with God provides.

In August we are providing back packs for school!

Get Involved

Refugee Newsletter

Find out what is going on in our refugee community from Alliance Samuragwa

Sign Up

“If you are interested in volunteering, praying, or donating items please click the Sign-Up form and we’ll be in touch.

Ways You Can Help

Deliver Prepared Food

We are pleased to say that Southside BBQ is once again donating its leftover food to those in need! But we need volunteers to help transport the food to various locations. We are continuing to donate the food to Casa Marinella; however, we added THREE more drop-off locations. The drop-off locations will alternate daily. Please pay special attention as to where to drop off the food (each night’s delivery will only be to ONE location).

SIGN UP HERE

Helpers
We are looking for volunteers who want to directly assist asylees and refugees:

  • Drivers who are able to drive refugees and asylees to the hospital, doctor’s appointments, grocery store, etc.
  • Paperwork Aides to refugees and asylees who need assistance with job or school applications and other paperwork type situations.
  • Translators: French, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, Pasto
  • English as a second language (ESL): provide training materials, resources, tutoring to help refugees & asylees learn English. This is a new opportunity so if you have ideas or recommendations please share those with us.
  • Helpers should share with us what days and times they are available, along with how they are able to help, what their background/professional experience is as applicable, and the best way to get in contact with you. We will keep a list on hand to match up when a refugee or asylee reaches out to us.

Be In Community 
If you are interested in meeting, sharing a meal, or praying with one of our refugee/asylee families we would love to connect you. This is a great experience for kids and teenagers. Please let us know if you have a specific family’s country you are interested in learning more about and we’ll work to introduce you to a family from that area

Donate Items
Many refugees and asylum seekers come to our country with almost nothing. Any items that we receive are able to be given directly to families in need.

Items Most in Need:
Furniture, bedding, mattresses, pillows, blankets, towels, kitchen utensils and plates, pots and pans, tables and chairs, couches, coffee tables, toys for kids, easy reading level books, arts and crafts, baby supplies, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, adult bicycles for transportation, used vehicles, sewing machines, computers. 

Delivery Drivers
We are regularly in need of drivers with trucks willing to load and deliver items to families in need. Scheduling will be coordinated for you and someone will accompany you to provide introductions and language assistance if you are going to meet a family.

Volunteer at Hope Clinic

Hope Clinic is a completely free primary care clinic located in East Austin. The clinic serves mainly resettled refugees and immigrants who face many barriers to accessing healthcare.

Clinical volunteers are needed, especially nurses, mental health counselors, providers, and pharmacists. The clinic sees a great need for access to basic dental services and would be thrilled to partner with any dentists willing to assist a few patients each month.
Non-medical volunteers are also important, especially committed adults motivated to volunteer at least twice a month.
The clinic is open Tuesdays from 10 am-130pm, Wednesdays from 6:30-830pm, and the 2nd Saturday each month from 9:30 am-12:30 pm.
Find out more at hopeclinicaustin.org and contact Hope Clinic at guptexas@gmail.com

Write Welcome Cards to New Families
Families that just arrive often feel a sense of loneliness and hopelessness. Welcome cards with a picture of your family allow them to feel a sense of belonging and care as they enter into a strange new place.

Organize and Sort Inventory
Our current storage unit needs to be organized and inventoried. Once the site is organized, regular inventory, review, and maintenance of storage will be appreciated and make the assistance process faster and more efficient.

Prayers
Opportunities to pray for families to pray both at home or to go to families’ houses to pray with them.

FAQs

Why are we serving refugees?  As the church and people who follow Jesus, we are called to love and serve those who are displaced and marginalized.  There are 100 refugees being relocated to Austin and we have an opportunity to show them God’s love by serving them as they build a new life in a new city for their families.  Imagine if someone told you, you had to move to a new country and had 3 months to learn a new language, get a job, find transportation, enroll your kids in school, and navigate the healthcare system.  What if we as the church came alongside those who are refugees in our city to show them Jesus' love?

How many refugee families are we helping?  Gateway has been serving refugee families in Austin for years through the Hope Clinic, International Restoration Church, and the Refugee Network.  In 2022 there are 100 families that will be relocated to Austin in the new year and we want to be ready to help them as they arrive.

How do I give financial support to help these refugee families? During the month of December, just give above and beyond what you normally give to the offering at the campus you attend.  When we hit our budget for December, any amount over will go to hit our goal of $100,000 to serve 100 families.

How will the money be used? The money will be used to provide living expenses for a family.  Refugee Services of Texas provides a family with 3 months of assistance initially, but after that, they receive no financial assistance.  We will come alongside a refugee family to determine what’s needed.  In some cases, they just need help with transportation so we can provide a ride or a bus pass.  In other cases, they may need a month of additional rent assistance.  Overall we think $100,000 will serve 100 families in 2022 to help them avoid homelessness, find a job, provide food, clothing, medical care, and much more.

How can I use my business to help refugee families?  Businesses like SLAB BBQ and Southside Market are providing food.  Smokey Mo’s BBQ is interviewing refugees for potential employment opportunities.  FairBank is helping refugees set up bank accounts. If you are in a position of influence in your company, we’d love to talk with you about how you can use your business to make a positive impact.

What if the company I work for will match my giving? Many companies will match your contributions up to a certain amount.  Most companies do a giving-match to Gateway Church through foundations like Benevity, Bright Funds, Your Cause, United Way, Blackbaud, and Truist.  Talk to your HR representative to see if you can give to Gateway through your company foundation. Gateway is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your donations are tax-deductible.

DEFINITIONS

*A refugee is someone who the U.S. government brings to the United States and has 3 months of government assistance to get acclimated.

*An asylum seeker comes to the United States on their own accord and has to apply for asylum in order to become a refugee. Asylum seekers have no support from the government while waiting for approval which takes 1-2 years.