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JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Market Day

JFCS Refugee and Immigrant ServicesWith an over-abundance of household goods and clothes on hand donated to help refugee and immigrant families, JFCS held its first Market Day on Sunday. The name is misleading because there was no “market’: everything was free. Families from Russia, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iraq, Mexico, Myanmar/Burma, Puerto Rico (USA), Uzbekistan and Venezuela — more than 65 families — waited patiently in the crowded lobby and out the door for their turn to find some useful treasures.

Staff from JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services set up tables burgeoning with clothes, dishes, bedding, toys, coats and much more on Friday, and worked hard on Sunday to help every person find anything and everything they needed. Clothing was separated by size and season, and household goods were grouped together. Children happily chose books and toys and school supplies. New and expectant mothers snapped up baby clothes. Many from the warmer countries tried on coats, hats, mittens and scarves.

By the end of the afternoon, just about everything was gone.

Though this Market Day was a smashing success, no plans exist to do it again any time soon, so we are not looking for any household donations at this time. We are grateful to the people who want to help our families. (A special shout-out to the knitting club of CMU for all the handmade winter hats, mittens and scarves!) But for now, we’re enjoying clear hallways and closets returned to their original purposes!

Photo: Refugee & Immigrant Services staff member Yesmina Salib helps a young girl choose a book.