What is co-sponsorship for refugees?
Refugees often arrive in the U.S. with little more than the clothes they’re wearing. Bethany partners with volunteers and community groups, called "co-sponsors," to meet refugees’ needs when they arrive and help them thrive in their new communities.
Co-sponsorship is a long-term commitment (at least six months) by a group of about 7-10 individuals. No matter the size of your group or the extent of your resources, there are ways you can make a life-changing difference for a newly arrived refugee.
FAQs about refugee co-sponsorship
How long is the commitment?
We ask co-sponsorship groups to commit for at least six months to provide enough time for refugees to get settled in the community. Between you and the other members of your group, you can expect to volunteer in multiple ways several times per month, or however your schedule allows.
How large should my group be?
In our experience, 7-10 individuals is the ideal size. But we welcome help from groups of all sizes.
Do I have to speak the refugee’s language?
No. One of the biggest joys and challenges of working with refugees is the ability to connect with people from a different culture and language than your own. We provide specialized training and ongoing support to help build bridges of understanding between your group and the refugees you’re supporting.
Does our group have to be part of a church?
No. Co-sponsors can be any group of friends, co-workers, neighbors, or strangers—all with a passion for helping refugees. Anyone can get involved to welcome refugees to our community.
Does everyone in our group have to help in the same way?
No. There are a variety of opportunities to help, including transportation, shopping for home goods, tutoring, or filling out paperwork. By identifying each group member’s talents and strengths, you’ll collectively fill each of these needs.
Do we have to donate funds?
Financial assistance is very helpful to support refugees as they get settled, find jobs, and work toward independence. Often, the gifts you give will help with a variety of needs, but rent is the biggest need as refugees work to gain independence.