At International Neighbors, the safety and well-being of our neighbors, volunteers, and staff are our top priorities. We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the evolving conditions of the coronavirus through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vriginia Department of Health, and remain proactive in planning the best ways to preserve and protect the health and safety of our community.

As an organization committed to community support, we encourage you to find ways to continue supporting our neighbors and community members while also staying safe.

For Our Volunteers 

First and foremost, guard your own health and the health of others by staying home if you show signs of illness or have recently traveled to an area where cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. 

While we continue to serve and support our neighbors’ needs, we must be mindful of social distancing when possible and following any preventative measures outlined by the CDC.  

We recognize that many of the refugee families we serve in Charlottesville will be affected by this outbreak not only on a health level, but also on an economic level. And most of those families operate on a single income, primarily from jobs within the hospitality and service industries—which will be largely affected.

We also expect mental health consequences to emerge. The impact of fear, uncertainty, lost wages and a diminished ability to provide for your family is extremely trying. We know our refugee families have faced adversity before, but this can and will unlock trauma for many of them, compounding any challenges they were already experiencing.

Our team is working on putting together resources that will help guide important conversations around this issue and point families toward resources available in the community. For our families who are English Language Learners and still somewhat unfamiliar with American culture, it is crucial that we support them in getting the best and most accurate information.

Here is a link to a COVID-19 fact sheet in many languages, including Arabic. 

We will be adding updates and resources on our website here as they become available—please continue checking back for developments in the coming weeks. We would love to hear your suggestions for helpful resources to share. Please send any helpful information and ideas to contactus@internationalneighbors.org.

As the impact of the global pandemic continues to evolve, rest assured that we will continue to adjust and take any and all measures necessary to keep our community safe while continuing our mission to be the best neighbors we can possibly be—spreading love (not viruses) in Charlottesville.

Stay safe, be well, and be kind to one another.

Kari Miller
Executive Director & Founder

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