activities and programs

 since our founding in 2016

A young Syrian refugee boy, the proud new owner of a donated and rehabbed bicycle in Germany,

A young Syrian refugee boy, the proud new owner of a donated and rehabbed bicycle in Germany,

  • Summer 2019 AFRI member Bobbi Perez highlights the plight of immigrant children detained at the US border by displaying signage at the Essex, NY ferry landing on Lake Champlain. She is also active in local schools with presentations on the Underground Railroad and its similarities to current refugee and immigration migrations.

  • August 2019 Monique Weston’s editorial on immigration issues - one of many regularly submitted by AFRI members to local papers and media - is published in the Plattsburgh (NY) Press-Republican.

  • July 2019 AFRI members Monique Weston and Cynthia Poppino presented a thoroughly researched and documented presentaiton at the Keene Valley (NY) Library on “Facts and Fictions” of immigration and immigration politics.

  • June 2019 Students at Ecumenical Vacation Bible School in Willsboro (NY) learned about refugee issues and services from Kim La Reau and Kiran Aziz, a second-generation Pakistani immigrant high school senior. These students then donated $38 to support AFRI’s activities.

  • June 2019 AFRI observed International Refugee Day with a public forum at the Willsboro (NY) Public Library that featured a discussion with Kim La Reau, local Office of New Neighbors Community Navigation.

  • March 2019 AFRI hosted two public information forums at the Whallonsburg (NY) Grange Hall focusing on immigrant stories of their experiences in the immigration system and then on “Fictions and Facts” in the current debate on immigration policy.

  • Spring 2019 Several vetted Nepali refugee friends on AFRI are sworn in as full American citizens in a Burlington, VT courtroom.

  • Spring 2019 Several of our AFRI members attended information sessions on UNHCR programs and other immigration agency services.

  • August 2018 We hosted our second “Day Away” program for vetted Nepali refugees at an AFRI member’s home on Lake Champlain, where we shared ethnic foods; discussed with our guests their lives in refugee camps and now in Vermont; swam, skipped stones; and helped refugees feel more at home in this country and on this side of the Lake.

  • August 2019 An AFRI member presented a Mission Moment at a church in Keene Valley describing our organization and programs.

  • August 2019 Several of our members met and consulted with a woman who has worked as a volunteer at a refugee camp in Greece.


“The Refugees” by Tamara Lempicka

  • June 2018 AFRI hosted a combined tea, luncheon, and garden tour to raise funds for an address and video presentation on undocumented immigrants fleeing for asylum across the Canadian border north of Plattsburgh, NY.

  • June 2018 Janet McFetridge, a volunteer active with Plattsburgh Cares, discussed her work with immigrants fleeing for asylum into Canada, with donations at this event given by AFRI to Plattsburgh Cares, an organization that aids those fleeing for asylum across the border into Canada. (Click on the link in the navigation bar above to connect to their website.)

  • October 2017 AFRI organized a public demonstration at the Essex County (NY) Courthouse advocating for continuation of government funding for the DACA program that supports immigrant “Dreamers” settled here and serving in the military, attending college, or working in a career.

  • Fall 2017 Several members joined in a rally in Hemingford, Quebec, sponsored by several Canadian organizations working to aid asylum seekers crossing into Canada.

  • April 2017 We hosted a rally in support of refugees and immigrants at the Underground Railroad Museum in Keeseville, New York.

  • August 2016 We hosted our first Day Away program in Westport, New York, welcoming vetted Nepali refugees from the Burlington, VT, area for a day of beach time; ethnic foods; and cross-cultural singing and dancing.

  • May 2016 We hosted a public forum at the Community Church in Essex (NY) where four refugees and a staff member from the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program spoke about the process and experience of resettlement after life in a refugee camp.

  • 2016 AFRI raised over $2,000 to assist a church organization in Germany that provides bicycles for refugees settled there.

  • From our Founding in 2016 We have submitted editorials and longer opinion pieces on immigration issues and policies for publication in local papers and magazines.

  • AFRI Website ( AFRI member and webmaster Laura Steenburg created and maintains this website which also includes a link to the Plattsburgh Cares website.

Many thanks to all of you who have

supported these efforts

and share our concern for the refugee crisis

around the world.

As this tragedy continues to deepen,

we will be challenged to keep

faith in our shared humanity and to persist in

discovering and celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s

“better angels of our nature”

throughout a very troubled world.

We greatly appreciate your volunteer labor, encouragement, and financial support for our activities.  Donations by check can be made to St. John's Church, 4 Church Street, Essex, NY 12936 with “FOR” in the memo line.