Meet one of our Community Support Teams, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church! Our Community Support Teams volunteer for a 3-to-6-month period. After being matched with a client family, they help Exodus in numerous ways to welcome the family to Indiana and support their life ahead. Good Samaritan was matched with a family from Afghanistan. We spoke with team leader, Beth, about their experience working with this family.
Some members of the Good Samaritan team had previously helped an Eritrean family as a Community Support Team a few years ago and recruited other members of their church to form a group of about 10 volunteers. They were drawn to this opportunity to really be able to work closely with a family and support their journey of resettling in their new home in Indy.
There were some challenges the group faced together with the family, and they learned a lot about each other through their time together. Beth described it as a “good hard”; and that the team was able to be there to support and celebrate the family through the difficulties that can arise during the resettlement process. The support from Exodus as they navigated welcoming the family was a big help too. Chelsea Foster, Exodus’s Community Sponsorship Coordinator, was helpful to Beth as she navigated leading the group and was very open and communicative with the team overall.
Some of Beth’s favorite memories involve getting to know the family and spending quality time with them. One memory in particular was helping the family shop for new furniture in their new home and getting to be part of the joy of them putting their own touches on the space. In particular, she said it’s incredible to see how excited the kids are to go to school; the energy they have and how eager the kids are to show off the English they’ve learned with Beth and the team. The resilience reflects the optimism the family has for their future, and their new lives here in Indy.
Beth also spoke to how during the team’s time working with the family, there were a number of learning moments between the team and the family. As they spent time together, they learned about each other’s cultures and were able to build a close relationship with the family. The team overall feels very fortunate to have connected with the family.
The biggest piece of advice they would give to anyone interested in being a Community Support Team is to just show up and be there for the family. At the end of the day, it’s about building community and connection with the family you are welcoming to Indy and being there is an easy way to do that.
Thank you to Good Samaritan Team for all their work and dedication in supporting our clients and being a part of welcoming them to the community. We are grateful for their time and energy!
If you are interested in forming a Community Support Team, please feel free to reach out to Chelsea Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org