Recent executive orders blocking and reducing refugee arrivals have significantly impacted our funding. We continue to welcome refugees and are committed to serving those who have already arrived with employment services, connection to health care and social services, and assistance with obtaining permanent residency and US citizenship. Please donate today to keep our services strong.
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The executive orders blocking refugee admissions and the subsequent legal challenges to those orders have continued to make news headlines and create uncertainty about refugee resettlement in the US. For updates on the situation, we recommend that you follow our national partners Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries on Facebook.
From October 2016 through September 2017, we welcomed 316 refugees. We welcomed 14 new arrivals in January and are hoping to welcome 11 individuals in February.
Tag Archives: Minnesota Council of Churches
A stray ball bounced into the garden, flattening a young tomato plant. Rabbits nibbled plant leaves until they resembled paper origami snowflakes. Kids ran through the garden plots, compacting the soil. Adults picked ripe vegetables without permission and dropped trash along the aisles. These predicaments, which are familiar to many inner-city vegetable growers, were creating problems at Fresh Start Garden. This was the first year the space at Rolling Hills Apartments was used for gardening; formerly, it was used as an informal soccer field for kids and picnic spot for tenants. Fresh Start Garden did not have a fence to protect the space and encourage respect for the plants and vegetables. In June, the garden leaders told Liz Mason from Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) about the issues and asked for a fence they could install around the garden perimeter. Mason got in touch with Redeemer Lutheran Church of White … Continue reading
From the Archives– August, 2010 ST. PAUL, MN – “How did the Fresh Start Garden get started?” That was the question I recently asked Liz Mason, VISTA Leader, from the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC). We met mid-morning in the garden and were admiring the swelling orange squash and climbing bean shoots that were putting a chokehold on neighboring plants. “Well, it didn’t take much,” Mason replied. According to Mason, it all began with an offhand remark from the property manager at Rolling Hills, who mentioned that they were open to a vegetable garden at the apartments. It was a golden opportunity for Mason, who was then working closely with landlords as a Housing Resource Developer. She knew that a garden would enrich the housing experience for her refugee clients living at Rolling Hills, many of whom are Karen refugees from Burma. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, over … Continue reading
Garden Post from the Archives: July 21, 2010 ST. PAUL, MN “The garden is good,” said Law Paw. “The garden gives us fun, it gives us a community, it gives us a relationship with others.” Paw is one of 15 Karen refugee women who began growing vegetables this summer in her ‘own backyard’ at Rolling Hills Apartment complex. The garden is a project of the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), a refugee resettlement agency based in Minneapolis, who has teamed up with Rolling Hills property management to create a new vegetable garden for residents. Due to her English speaking ability, Paw has emerged as a garden leader and liaison with MCC and Rolling Hills property management. “Before the garden, I never think we have an opportunity to plant (in America),” said Paw. Law Paw is a leader at Fresh Start Garden. The gardeners, mostly Karen refugees from Burma, have … Continue reading
The Flandrau Refugee Community Garden got a great surprise recently – a beautiful, home-made tool shed! Previously, we had been storing tools in a closet in one of the apartment buildings, so the gardeners were all thrilled to have an easier, more accessible place to store their garden tools and hose. A men’s ministry group from the SW Minnesota Synod of the ELCA build the shed for the garden as part of the synod assembly on June 10. Thank you for all your hard work!
Allie Shah, a reporter for the Star Tribune, wrote an article about This Much I Can Tell You. The article was printed in the Saturday print issue and is also posted online. Click here to view the digital version. We love it when newspapers or other media outlets report on our book. These remarkable stories benefit greatly from this kind of media exposure. If you know somebody in the media, consider telling them about This Much I Can Tell You and pitching it as a story idea for their publication. Let us know if you do!
From the archives: April 11, 2011 THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the community fundraiser for the Refugee Community Garden Project last night at Pizza Luce St. Paul! We (and all the gardeners) really appreciate your support. We don’t know how we did yet, but many friends came out to enjoy delicious pizza with us! We are very grateful to Pizza Luce for holding this fundraiser!
Julia Dinsmore, author of My Name is Child of God, not “Those People”, has endorsed our book! Julia is a local advocate for ending homelessness, a poet, a songwriter and a grandmother. Thanks for making time to read our book, Julia, and for your beautiful words! Your own life and work is an inspiration to us.