September 2018 Newsletter

In this issue:
  • Welcoming Week 2018
    • Willy St Fair Information Booth, September 16
    • English Conversation Time, September 16
    • Book release event: Refugee Story, How to Make a Life, September 17
    • ODFR sponsored U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization (Citizenship) Ceremony, September 20
    • ODFR/Epic Kids Club outing to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, September 22
    • First Responders / Emergency Services programs Meet-n-Greet refugee families / potluck gathering, September 23
  • Back-to-School Backpacks and Supplies Event
  • Volunteers Needed
  • Lutheran Social Services Corner
Please Note!
Because of a conflict with Yom Kippur, our normal "3rd Wednesday" Introductory Meeting has been moved to the 4th Wednesday

The meeting will be
Wednesday Sept 26
from 7:00-8:30 pm,
at Beth Israel Center,
1406 Mound St,
Madison, 53711

Want to get involved?
Come and learn how you can!
Welcoming Week September 14-23

Welcoming Week is a national series of events held to demonstrate and build support for welcoming immigrants and refugees to this country.  It’s organized by Welcoming America, a wonderful immigrant and refugee advocacy and action group.  Last year there were over 700 Welcoming Week events in over 300 communities, six of these events sponsored by Open Doors.  This year again Open Doors is sponsoring six Welcoming Week events.  We also still need help with a couple of these events.  Please read below and consider helping.
Welcoming Week: Willy St Fair Information Booth
Sunday September 16
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Fair is on the 800, 900 and 1000 blocks of Williamson Street,
and the booth will be on the 1000 block
Open Doors for Refugees will be hosting an information booth on Sunday September 16 at the 41th annual Willy Street Fair, which takes place on the 800, 900 and 1000 blocks of Williamson Street (a smaller version of the fair begins on Saturday September 15)  The fair consists of an assortment of music on three stages, food carts, street vendors and other entertainment.  The iconic Willy St Fair Parade starts at 11:00 am.  Come and enjoy the fair and learn about Open Doors' initiatives, Welcoming Week, and the refugee situation in and around Madison.

Would you like to help at the booth?  It's really a lot of fun!  Please consider and perhaps sign up for a shift here.

For more information about the fair, please visit:
Welcoming Week: English Conversation Time
Sunday September 16
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center
954 Jenifer St, Madison

Open Doors is inviting refugee families in the Madison area to come to a special social gathering, where they can meet other local residents, practice speaking English, and share their cultures with their new neighbors.  Refugees will be able to ask questions and get advice about learning English, American culture, living in Madison, and other topics. This is the first of several monthly English Conversation Time planned events.  Refreshments and snacks will be served. Child care will be provided.  Open Door's English Conversation Time will offer opportunities for all participants to make new friends and will serve as a reminder that people from different cultures are more alike than different.

We are still looking for help for this event.  Volunteers are needed to assist with space set up, greeting & navigating families, serving light refreshments and clean up. The time commitment requested is from 2:30-5:30 pm.  If you would like to help, please sign up here.

Welcoming Week: Refugee Story, How to Make a Life
Monday, September 17
6:00 - 7:30 pm
A Room of One’s Own Bookstore
315 W. Gorham St, Madison
“Mothers and Daughters” is the theme of an evening on Monday, Sept. 17, at A Room of One's Own Bookstore, 315 W. Gorham St., Madison, 6:00 – 7:30 pm.  Author Madeline Uraneck will read from her recently published book, How to Make a Life: A Tibetan Refugee Family and the Midwestern Woman They Adopted. She will invite mother – daughter Tibetan American pairs to join her to look at women’s issues in the book, and invites both genders and especially moms, grandmoms, and daughters to the discussion.
An evocative blend of immersion journalism and memoir, How to Make a Life shares the story of a Tibetan refugee family making a life in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Midwestern woman they befriended. From tales of escaping Tibet over the Himalayas, to striking a balance between old traditions and new, Madeline found more than she bargained for - a family who welcomed her as their own and taught her things she didn't realize she needed to learn.
Madeline Uraneck, one of Open Doors for Refugees founding members, is an educator and writer who has visited sixty-four countries through her role as International Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), several Peace Corps assignments, and her passion for world travel.  The book is published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.  Visit Madeline’s Website, .
Welcoming Week: USCIS Naturalization Ceremony
Thursday, September 20
Robert W. Kastenmeir Federal Courthouse
Please note: this event is NOT open to the general public
(photo by Amber Arnold, WI State Journal, at 2017 Naturalization ceremony)

On September 20th, 40 citizens-to-be and their loved ones will come to Madison to undertake the Oath of Citizenship and be granted the status of US Citizen. Open Doors is proud to sponsor the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, distinguished guests and speakers, soon to be citizens and their families to Madison for this event. For many years, Naturalization ceremonies were held in Madison on a regular basis and then slowly migrated away to Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago. We are happy to bring this important rite and process back to Madison for the second year! 
Welcoming Week: Open Doors / Epic Kids Club Outing
Saturday, September 22
2:00 pm
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Avenue
On September 22 the Epic Kids Club will host an event for refugee families to visit Olbrich Botanical Gardens.  The Epic Kids Club is an group of Epic employees who've organized to provide fun family outings to refugee kids and their families.  You folks rock!
Welcoming Week: First Responders Meet-n-Greet
Sunday, September 23
2:30 pm
Christ Presbyterian Church
944 E Gorham St, Madison, 53703
Please note: this event is NOT open to the public
First Responders / Emergency Services programs Meet-n-Greet and potluck gathering for refugee families, with an opportunity to learn about First Responders via translators and an EMS crew.  If available, there will be a fire truck for kids to see up close.  This event is co-sponsored by Jewish Social Services, Lutheran Social Services and Christ Presbyterian Church.
Backpack and School Supplies Event

On August 18, Open Doors distributed free backpacks and school supplies to 96 kids from 40 families.  Unlike last year, when we filled and delivered the backpacks to the families, this year the families picked up their materials at the Monona Dream Park.  Many refugee families were introduced to Open Doors for the first time at this event.

While many of the backpacks and supplies were donated, we purchased some of the needed materials at Shopko.  Recognizing a cause they wished to support, the Shopko Foundation generously contributed $500 to assist us.  Thank you Shopko management for your substantial contribution.
Volunteers Needed: Help us help our new neighbors!

As noted above, we need help with a couple Welcoming Week events, including: Please consider helping with these if you can, and sign up at the links above.  Thanks much.
Lutheran Social Services Corner
By Mary Flynn,
Refugee Resettlement
Program Manager
Welcome to the Fall season!  The welcome for refugees continues albeit at greatly reduced numbers from past years.  Due to lower numbers for LSS at this time, the refugee staff there has reduced work hours to Tuesday, Wednesday PM, and Thursday.  Please continue to call the Madison LSS Refugee office and leave a message; you’ll get a return call during those work days.  It remains vitally important that all refugees and green card holders be directed to DOJ-recognized immigration service providers.  A recent in-service coordinated by the Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) and featuring USCIS regional community outreach staff reiterated the importance of using experienced and accredited representatives in filing immigration forms and applications.  Using an accredited representative can mean the difference between achieving needed legal status and being denied with reduced options in the future.  USCIS has repeatedly stated that their goal is to support the legal path to citizenship, but they also must follow procedural rules.  Services are available at CMC at sliding fee for eligible persons; low cost options are also available.  Guiding refugees to these services is truly welcoming—and important!
Please note, here are links to all previous newsletters 

Contact Us:










Mailing Address

Open Doors for Refugees

1213 N Sherman Ave # 104
Madison, WI 53704


Copyright © 2018 Open Doors for Refugees, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp