Welcoming refugees to our area, one family at a time
Uniting neighbors, houses of worship, community organizations and key service providers in Ossining, Cold Spring and surrounding towns, with the shared mission of welcoming and integrating federally-sponsored refugees into our communities.
Ossining for Refugees is now Open Arms for Refugees, in recognition that our scope and support extend well beyond Ossining. With help from a new 2:1 matching grant from the David Swope Fund, we continue to expand our work welcoming and resettling refugee families in the greater Westchester area.
We invite you to join our network of volunteers and service providers to support our newest neighbors and help them make a successful transition to a new country with unfamiliar food, customs and language. Join us in saying, “Welcome to your new home.”
Learn with us
LIVE FILM SCREENING
In support of Open Arms and our mission, award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker Ramita Navai recently shared her documentary Afghanistan Undercover with us in a live public screening. Her timely documentary chronicles the harsh treatment of women, and includes in-person interviews across Afghanistan. Navai spoke afterwards via Zoom with Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg.
The event was powerful: a riveting film, a very personal interview and the gathering of a wider community in solidarity for refugees. To learn more about this event, please visit our News and Needs page. To stream the film online, click below.
Open Arms for Refugees began in the summer of 2021 when Ossining resident Sofia Bator learned that her cousin, whom we call F to protect her identity, was trapped in Afghanistan and in danger of being imprisoned or killed by the Taliban. With the help of local and national leaders including Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, US Congressman Mondaire Jones and US Senator Chuck Schumer, F was rescued from Kabul by US Marines in late August. Inspired by Sofia’s determination and F‘s rescue, Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg and community volunteer Ted Buerger invited local friends and neighbors to come together to assist F and others, welcoming them to our community. The community responded, and Ossining for Refugees was formed in October 2021. As our scope and support grew beyond Ossining, we adopted the new name of Open Arms for Refugees.
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How We Work
Open Arms for Refugees works in partnership with federally-sponsored resettlement agencies including HIAS and Catholic Charities as well as diverse local organizations to provide refugees and their immediate families with necessities including housing, furniture, clothing, and employment assistance. We also connect them with medical care, schools, ESL classes, and temporary government services like SNAP. MORE
From day one over the next three to six months, we help our new neighbors navigate the challenges and opportunities of their new home – in the belief that they will, in turn, enrich our own community.
Open Arms for Refugees is a Community Sponsorship organization, bringing together neighbors, houses of worship, community organizations and key service providers in Ossining, Cold Spring and surrounding towns, with the shared mission of welcoming and integrating federally-sponsored refugees into our communities.