Lawrence University Donates Building to Help Refugees - WBAY

Lawrence University Donates Building to Help Refugees

Appleton -

As the Fox Valley prepares to welcome dozens of refugees from Congo, Iraq and Myanmar to the area later this year, Lawrence University is doing its part to help with the transition.

A vacant bank building at 320 E. College Avenue is the property of Lawrence University. Currently being used for storage, about 3,000 square feet of the facility will soon be loaned, free-of-charge, to World Relief Fox Valley.

"We're still sorting out what to do with the building," says Jake Woodford, assistant to the Lawrence University President. "There are some things we've been in discussions about, but certainly in the short turn, in these next six months this seemed like a wonderful use."

World Relief Fox Valley will be using the building as a donation center and storage facility for community donations it hopes to receive within the next couple of months. The Oshkosh based organization is in need of household necessities like bed frames, kitchen tables and dishes, couches among other items. The donations will be used to set up apartments and other living quarters for the more than one hundred refugees it will help to settle in the area later this year.

World Relief Fox Valley Director Myriam Mwizerwa says, "Initially we are allocated about $925 per person to get all of these items, so it's not sufficient, obviously we need donations in order for use to meet the needs of the refugees."

A firm believer in community partnerships, Lawrence is excited to be a part of this project and expects the use of this building to just be the beginning of its helping hand.

Says Woodford, "Our Volunteer Center on campus is working on coordinating some volunteer efforts around the drives here at the building. Certainly I think there will be opportunities for students to get involved."

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