In 2017, RIHO was able to connect with and provide services to over 70 refugee and immigrant families from, literally, around the globe. To round out a remarkable year, on December 10, 2017, RIHO partnered with the Portland Refugee Support Group (PRSG) to host a Middle Eastern Bake Sale. It was a huge success! Our refugee bakers came from their home countries of Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Iraq and baked some delicious treats, from baklava to bread, for everyone to enjoy. The food was so wonderful, it sold out! Proceeds from the sales went directly to the bakers and was a significant moneymaker for the refugee participants. A day after the event, one of our refugee bakers was still beaming. She mentioned this is the first time she has ever earned her own money and felt she gained new respect in the eyes of her husband and children by showing she could successfully navigate the world outside her home. Another baker was able to obtain her food handler’s card, and one of our volunteers was able to provide her with information on how to begin a home baking business. We are so grateful for our volunteers who produced such a successful event and for all those who came and purchased treats. Your support has made a strong, positive impact on these women’s lives. Of course, our refugee bakers deserve all the credit for a job well-done. We could not have done it without you. RIHO looks forward to partnering with PRSG again to host another bake sale in the future.
Among the refugees and immigrants of East Portland and Gresham, there is great need for assistance in figuring out life in America, as well as a deep desire for long-term relational support. Through events like this, RIHO builds social relationships among newcomers and long-time residents to help refugees regain relationships they lost when leaving their home countries and help them gain confidence in their new lives in the United States.