CWS Celebrates Refugee AmeriCorps Members as Part of One Million Member Milestone

October 7, 2016


Join the conversation online using the hashtags #1of1Million and #ThanksAMillion

Learn more about our refugee resettlement work and get involved here

NEW YORK–Church World Service (CWS)–a global humanitarian organization and one of nine U.S. refugee resettlement agencies–today celebrated its Refugee AmeriCorps members as part of AmeriCorps’ one million milestone, which honors the millionth member joining AmeriCorps in service.

Through the AmeriCorps program–which annually engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country–CWS mobilizes its volunteer members to help refugees resettle and rebuild in new communities here in the U.S.

The CWS Refugee AmeriCorps Initiative connects refugees to their new community through intensive community orientation for refugees and capacity building with community partner organizations. Through increased mutual understanding, refugees are able to independently navigate their communities, to maintain a stable and safe environment in the areas of housing, health and employment, and ultimately to achieve long term integration.

CWS has been at the forefront of refugee resettlement work for the past 70 years, helping more than 850,000 refugees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, and other immigrants rebuild their lives in the U.S. Learn more about our refugee resettlement work and get involved here.

Learn more about the CWS Refugee AmeriCorps, by the numbers:

Number of Communities Supported by Members 9
Number of Members 10  full-time 
Number of Annual Program Participants 1,600
Number of Annual New Community Partnerships 130
Number of Community Members Trained Annually 100
Number of Volunteers Leveraged Annually 100 

Meet some of our Refuge AmeriCorps members, and see why service matters to them: 

“My service with CWS matters because I am to better able to educate the community on the many misperceptions people have of refugees and help the community grow together.” –Cassidy Heitman, Refugee AmeriCorps Member

“First and foremost, we are all brothers and sisters who are merely separated by race, religion, culture and national boundary. To serve my own brothers and sisters is my responsibility and not a mere act of duty.” –Birendra Chhetri, Refugee AmeriCorps Member

“Why does my service matter? Because I help improve the quality of life for our clients at CWS as an AmeriCorps member who successfully resettled in the Richmond VA.” –Fnu Hamed, Refugee AmeriCorps Member

“My service matters because I believe that health is a human right, and in order for refugees to reach and sustain self-sufficiency they must be given the knowledge and tools to navigate our health system and access care.” –Mackenzie Aughe, Refugee AmeriCorps Member

“For the past 15 months I have been able to not only witness truly amazing people working towards creating a more peaceful and just society, but to take part in their work as well, and I have seen the tremendous impact various programs have had on community members.” –Michaela Ashworth, Refugee AmeriCorps Member


Media Contacts:

Christina Levin

Megan Cagle