Seattle, WA — The Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundationtoday announced the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund to support community-based organizations across the United States that are helping Afghan refugees and parolees successfully resettle by donating goods, services, and volunteer time. As a part of the effort, the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation have committed more than $1 million to provide general operating grants up to $45,000 to qualifying nonprofits in up to 40 communities across the country to increase their capacity to serve individuals and families who have fled Afghanistan.
To support this effort, Welcome.US will raise awareness, foster collaboration, and coordinate among resettlement groups and civic organizations, including the more than 100 organizations that comprise its broad coalition of partners. Hello Neighbor, a nonprofit committed to supporting refugees and immigrants, will lead a collaborative learning community as part of the Hello Neighbor Network to share best practices among grantees.
Tens of thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their homeland, many because of threats to their lives and livelihoods due to their association with the United States. Americans want to welcome our new Afghan neighbors to the United States by volunteering their time, donating clothes and furniture, and much more, and most government-funded local resettlement agencies are under immense pressure to coordinate volunteer assistance and non-cash donations.
To connect volunteers with the resettlement efforts, the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund will invest in community organizations that are committed to creating opportunities for Americans across the country to directly engage in welcoming and helping Afghan newcomers integrate into their new communities in partnership with local resettlement agencies. We expect these organizations to provide volunteer-led services such as English instruction, driving lessons and job navigation; to coordinate the donation of clothing and household goods; and to organize activities and events to welcome Afghans into their new communities.
Funders of the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund will provide general operating grants to community-based organizations that:
- Operate in a community that is likely to receive Afghan refugees.
- Are committed to engaging a broad cross section of their community to support refugees, including volunteers from families, schools, universities, veterans’ organizations, and religious organizations.
- Are partnering with one or more refugee resettlement organizations in their community.
- Commit to dedicating 3-5 hours per month to learn from and participate in a learning collaborative of like-minded organizations through the grant term led by Hello Neighbor.
Interested organizations can learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions and can apply to receive support here. Applications are due Wednesday, November 15, 2021.
Support from the Schultz Family Foundation is part of the Foundation’s $1.1 million overall commitment to support Afghans resettling in the U.S.
“Courageous Afghans fleeing their homeland, many of whom honorably served alongside our veterans, deserve to be welcomed with respect and dignity. Helping our Afghan allies successfully integrate into our communities across the country reaffirms our shared humanity and common bonds.” – Sheri and Howard Schultz, co-founders, Schultz Family Foundation
“America has always been a welcoming country – a place where people come to make a better life for their families and in doing so, help make all of our lives better. The Stand Together Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support local organizations that welcome our new Afghan neighbors and help communities across the country do their part to continue this great American tradition, alongside the Schultz Family Foundation, The Starbucks Foundation, Welcome.US, and Hello Neighbor.” – Brian Hooks, Chairman, Stand Together Foundation.
“At Starbucks, we have a long history of partnering with others to provide opportunities and drive real impact. We are proud to join the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together and Welcome.US in their ongoing efforts to welcome Afghan families in the U.S. We continue to pursue our goal of hiring 10,000 refugees across the globe. But we also know that support goes beyond employment which is why The Starbucks Foundation has committed $350,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations supporting Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and refugee resettlement.” – Virginia Tenpenny, chief social impact officer, Starbucks.
“At a time when thousands of Americans and civic organizations are mobilizing to support our new Afghan neighbors, we are proud to join the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation, The Starbucks Foundation, and Hello Neighbor to support local organizations connecting volunteers with new Afghan neighbors in their communities. It’s the everyday acts of welcome by volunteers that will show our new neighbors how proud we are that they are rebuilding their lives here – and that will ensure that our new neighbors have what they need to rebuild their lives and contribute to their new communities.” – Nazanin Ash, CEO, Welcome.US.
“Hello Neighbor is honored and humbled to lead the learning components of this grant opportunity and funding circle. We know the greatest impacts can happen right at home. As communities all across the United States look to support their newest neighbors, we will be there right alongside them. Together, we can and will make a great impact in the lives of our new Afghan neighbors." – Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor
"The Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund is a welcome initiative to support local community organizations in helping resettle Afghan families. This fund will strengthen the network of community organizations across the country and most importantly add innovative and community-based support for resettling Afghans. Coming together through new opportunities like the fund is how we’ll build sustainable networks of welcome for our new Afghan neighbors.” – William Canny, Executive Director, Migration and Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
About the Schultz Family Foundation
The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Sheri and Howard Schultz, former ceo and chairman emeritus of Starbucks, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success, focusing on youth transitioning to adulthood and marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities. By investing in scalable solutions and partnerships in communities across the country, the Foundation aims to help tackle the barriers and roadblocks that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential and, in doing so, strengthen our communities and our nation. Learn more at www.schultzfamilyfoundation.org.
About Stand Together
Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed $100 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at www.StandTogetherFoundation.org.
About The Starbucks Foundation
The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. Learn more at sbux.co/foundation.
Welcome.US is a new national effort that launched in September 2021 to welcome Afghan families as they get settled and build new lives in the United States. Welcome.US provides a single point of entry to channel the outpouring of support from Americans who want to get involved by donating supplies, money, or time to frontline organizations; offering temporary housing; or sponsoring refugees. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President George. W. Bush and Laura Bush, and President William J. Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton serve as honorary co-chairs.
In addition to uplifting American support of our arriving Afghan families, Welcome.US created the Welcome Fund to support the development and expansion of enduring communities of welcome across the country rising to meet the needs of our new neighbors.
Welcome.US is led by CEO Nazanin Ash, former Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, and co-chaired by Cecilia Muñoz, senior adviser to New America and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Obama, and John Bridgeland, CEO of the COVID Collaborative and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Bush.
Welcome.US is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a 501(c)3 organization.