By Ashley Rooney
Like many communities of faith in Lexington, the Church of Our Redeemer (6 Meriam St.) has a longstanding history working with refugees in this county. They were involved in the Hungarian crisis in the ’50s and the Cambodians in the ’80s.
This year they have decided to use the profits from the church’s Annual Patriot’s Day breakfast to help support Lexington Refugee Assistance Program or LexRAP.
At the bustling happy Annual Pancake Breakfast, residents and visitors come to enjoy an old-fashioned breakfast and meet friends as they participate in an event that makes Lexington such a wonderful community and supports the Church of Our Redeemer’s mission of helping local children and families in need.
LexRAP supports and assists refugees and asylum seekers in integrating into American society. This includes a support network for housing, food, clothing, transportation, health care, education (especially English), employment, legal aid, and socialization. The group will use the pancake profits to:
- Support asylum seekers or asylees. Currently, two families are hosting asylum seekers. Until these refugees have hearings with immigration court, they can’t work or receive any government aid. LexRAP gives each asylee $350 a month to get a phone, use transportation, and incidentals.
- Support additional families in hosting asylees. LexRAP is seeking more host families and will give those people modest financial support.
- Refurbish laptops for refugee students. The group received donations of 20 laptops in January, refurbished them, and gave them to refugee students — high school and college. Money is needed for replacement parts and batteries.
- Purchase educational curricula. LexRAP now has two teams of tutors working with refugee youth. These kids learn English quickly, but they come with little to no education because of being in refugee camps. The tutors work closely with the two school systems for these kids, but they have little experience with refugee children with limited education and don’t have special curriculum. We would like to buy the necessary tools to help these kids and support their tutors.