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Massachusetts to Continue Accepting Refugees Following Executive Order, Governor Says

The Trump administration’s new executive order not only caps refugee admissions nationwide at 18,000 for the next fiscal year, it also puts the onus on municipalities and states across the country to give written consent to allow refugees resettle into their communities.

Massachusetts is poised to offer that written consent, according to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office.

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Recent News and Blog Stories

Community Volunteers Help Refugees to Learn about American Culture

Volunteer Stories - April 14, 2016

The Expanded Cultural Orientation Program is a new initiative through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and AmeriCorps. The program is designed to provide assistance to newly arrived refugees who are in the first 90 days of their resettlement and is being offered at Ascentria’s Services for New Americans office in Westfield, MA. The program teaches refugees about US culture, the English language, laws, healthcare, safety, banking, employment, housing and other important aspects of life in the USA. Read more

Volunteer Spotlight - Ken High

Volunteer Stories - March 28, 2016

Ken High is grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer with Ascentria’s Services for New Americans program (SNA) in Worcester MA.  A social studies teacher at Hudson (MA) High School, Ken enjoys getting to know refugees from around the globe and is often reminded of how much we have to be thankful for in America: opportunity, freedom, safety, education and much, much more.

Currently on sabbatical from teaching, Ken is splitting his time volunteering with Ascentria and Minute Man National Park in Concord. Ken found teaching about refugees to be rewarding, but felt limited by not having any first-hand experience and was frustrated at not being able to do anything to directly help these families in need. His sabbatical is giving him a much deeper understanding of this global humanitarian issue and has helped him see how everyday Americans can make a difference. Read more

Jake Medina - Volunteer, Donor, Advocate, and Student!

Volunteer Stories - November 13, 2015

Jake Medina began volunteering as a tutor with Ascentria’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM) when he was a freshman at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Jake is now a senior and, when looking back over the past four years, he tells us that his life has been changed through volunteering.  

Jake explains, “When I first started volunteering, I thought that I was leaving campus to help other people but before long, I realized that I was getting so much more than I was giving. Getting to know the students in the URM program, hearing their stories and witnessing their resilience and determination to move ahead in their lives has changed me. I no longer have pre-conceived notions of others and I have grown to be more empathetic and sensitive.” Read more

Education Empowers Achievement

Volunteer Stories - August 20, 2015

Education empowers achievement and Ascentria empowers people. Staff, volunteers, clients, and donors all play a key role in this effort. 

Thanks to the generosity of 52 Lutheran churches that participated in Ascentria’s backpack drive at the 2015 ELCA New England Synod Assembly, and Lifesong Church in Sutton Massachusetts (MA), 298 youth being served at Ascentria will be starting the 2015 school year with a new backpack filled with school supplies. These backpacks will give children the tools and the confidence they need to be successful in school.   Read more

Good News Garage staff extend a huge thank you to their volunteers!

Volunteer Stories - May 8, 2015

The Good News Garage VT office celebrated National Volunteer Week by acknowledging the hard work and commitment that their volunteers bring to Good News Garage. They are proud to introduce a few members of their volunteer team.  Read more

Nursing Student Volunteers Making a Difference

Volunteer Stories - April 17, 2015

Many of you have probably heard of Doctors Without Borders, the humanitarian organization that treats people around the world threatened by violence, neglect and catastrophe.  But have you ever heard of Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB)? You may not have, but remember the name. Read more

“You have two hands, one to help yourself and one to help others”

Volunteer Stories - April 13, 2015

“You have two hands, one to help yourself and one to help others,” is a favorite quote of Ashley Nichols, an intern with Ascentria’s Therapeutic Family Connections (TFC) in New Hampshire. A graduate of Smith College, Ashley is working on a master’s degree in social work and a law degree, and spends two days a week volunteering with Ascentria’s TFC program.   Read more

Answering the Call to Volunteer

Volunteer Stories - October 9, 2014

Diane Baker is a long time Nashua resident and a retired developmental disabilities social worker who answered the Call to Volunteer in more ways than one. “When I got a call to mentor a young man from Sudan I thought, I don’t have a car, I have some trouble walking, but I’ll go for it, he only lives a few blocks away. He’s my neighbor so of course I should help him.”  Read more

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