Zayd Vestal Reflects on His Experience as a Summer Intern

Zayd Vestal Reflects on His Experience as a Summer Intern

Zayd Vestal has completed his freshman year at North Park University in Chicago, IL. and still deciding his major. He currently is working as a summer intern this summer with Migros Aid and helping serve in numerous ways within the refugee community.

Zayd reflects on his summer internship,

“I have discovered that I have felt most at peace with the families, children, and individuals of my age who are connected with Migros Aid and from around the world. What I mean by “most at peace” is that when I spend time with these individuals, whatever the occasion is, I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. Of course, not everything is peaceful, but I can genuinely say that in my entire life, I have never felt as safe to be myself around the people in Migros Aid, even though there is a drastic cultural boundary between them and me. As I have gotten to know these individuals, almost every encounter with them is full of joy and warmth that seems rooted in their DNA. These individuals are mainly refugees from different parts of the world. They come to Indianapolis mostly on the lower-income spectrum of society, English not their primary language and most are not familiar with the customs and culture of America as a whole. Immigrants are the gentiles of modern-day America. Romans 3:29 says, “After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course, HE is! Our God is the God of all nations and cares for our neighbors and ‘the stranger.’ I have very much cherished my cross-cultural experiences with Migros because I have gained different perspectives of the world, and I believe this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus: to see and hear from people of all different backgrounds. We are all created in the image of God and have something to show of the Kingdom of God.”

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Thanks to Zayd for his heart and desire to serve the refugee community this summer.

The Migros Academy Launches in June to Assist Refugee Students through One-On-One Tutoring

The Migros Academy Launches in June to Assist Refugee Students through One-On-One Tutoring


The Migros Academy launched on June 7 and is designed to help assist students to get ready for the upcoming school year that starts on August 1. Eleven volunteer tutors came to tutor students through the summer. All of the students that Migros Aid works within the community are behind in their education, some very significantly. Through the pandemic, most fell even more behind.

The Migros Academy is a continuation of our “Homework Club” that we have been doing for the past four years in the apartments. It is an effort to continue our efforts to empower emerging generations within the refugee community. Tutors will be matched with a student weekly to practice reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to accept kids from grades 1-8 and help them enter High School strong.

Tutors will meet weekly for about 9 weeks and then meet about 10 times during the fall and 10 times during the spring.

Please contact us if you want to serve in this capacity! We have more students who want a tutor than available tutors.

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All tutors must fill out an application and have a background check and go through Migros 101. Make a difference in the life of a child today!

Angie Wiggins, Director of the Migros Academy, says, “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! •Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.

Migros Academy: Empowering the Next Generation Through One-On-One Tutoring

Migros Academy:   Empowering the Next Generation Through One-On-One Tutoring

Our efforts to continue to empower the next generation of refugee students will now be called  Migros Academy.   It will continue our five-year track record of our weekly Homework Club and mentoring of students, since our inception in 2017.    Our goal is 25 students this next school year (2022-2023) We need your help to tutor these kids!    

Click here to contact us and get more info and work to help a student with their homework and excel!     You can make a real impact!  

Angie Wiggins joins the Migros Aid team part-time to lead, guide, and facilitate the Migros Aid Academy.  Wiggins has over  26 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. Locally, she has taught with several homeschool co-ops and at North Central High School. 

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Wiggins says,   “I am honored and excited to join the Migros Aid team and help grow the educational component of the ministry.  Since January 2018, my daughters and I have volunteered at Migros Aid’s Homework Club. I am thankful for what we’ve learned and experienced through Homework Club. I would love to assist students who have great potential but who may be falling through the cracks in their crowded classrooms.   God has given me many opportunities to teach English Language Learners, and I always welcome that.  My family and I live on the west side of Indianapolis.  My husband, Andy, and I have 3 daughters (Sarah Grace 17, Anna 16, and Caroline 15). We worship and serve at One Fellowship Church.  In the free time I have after parenting 3 active teenagers,  I love wandering downtown, eating at international restaurants, and hanging out in my hammock with a book.”

Migros Academy tutors will build personal relationships with students from the refugee community to foster academic confidence and a lifelong passion for learning.

How Will the Migros Academy Work?

  • Once a week tutoring sessions designed to address math and reading skills, as well as relationship building.
  • The tutoring sessions will have a specific schedule and structure to maximize the time that the student and tutor have together. 
  • We will select 25 students (grades K-8) who demonstrate an interest in academic pursuits and positive attitudes. Each student will be paired with a tutor who will make a 9-week commitment to weekly tutoring sessions over the summer.
  • All tutors will apply, complete background checks and volunteer waivers, and attend Migros 101.
  • Tutoring sessions will begin at student homes to build trust between tutors, parents, and students. If all parties are comfortable, the sessions can later take place at other locations

Wiggins reflects further,  “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. • There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! • Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. • America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.

Refugees in Indianapolis give $14 to launch UKRAINE REFUGEE FUND to assist refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

Refugees in Indianapolis give $14 to launch UKRAINE REFUGEE FUND to assist refugees fleeing war in Ukraine

On Thursday, March 3 at our weekly CARE club we had a special program to reflect and respond to the war in Ukraine and the over 1 million refugees who have fled. We launched the Migros Aid Ukraine Refugee Fund and set a goal to raise $50,000. click here to donate

Channel 8 news was there to tell the story how the refugee community, who themselves had fled war, want to help refugees in Ukraine. Young people in the group wrote letters that will be mailed to refugees fleeing Ukraine. Also, a total of $14 was collected, all from young people, to assist refugees in Europe. A song was shared by Nick Sahaidachny and he spoke about how his parents fled Ukraine in the 1930s.

Joseph Mosse also shared his story of being raised in Ukraine and how many of his friends are in danger.

Migros Aid has launched a UKRAINE REFUGEE FUND and our goal is to raise $50,000 to bring aid and assistance to the refugee crises that has emerged as a result of Russia’s invasion. We will be be partnering with groups in Poland and Romania where we have relationship.

Continue reading “Refugees in Indianapolis give $14 to launch UKRAINE REFUGEE FUND to assist refugees fleeing war in Ukraine”

Participate in our Cross-Cultural Immersion Experience in 2022 – A Spiritual Retreat

Participate in our Cross-Cultural Immersion Experience in 2022 – A Spiritual Retreat

We are facilitating 3-hour spiritual retreats in the city of Indianapolis in 2022. It is a cross-cultural immersion experience that will open your eyes to the diversity in our city. it is a time of spiritual reflection, guided prayer, discovery, and exposure to the diverse cultures in Indianapolis and introducing people to the work of Migros Aid in the city.

Lacy Turnquist, Missions coordinator of Eagle Church in Whitestown, said, ‘ During our experience, my eyes were opened to the “International” area of Indy. I love that we can not only experience but engage with different cultures right here in our city.”

The Retreat Includes a meal, a stop at the international market to shop in groups, driving in the community, guided prayer, a visit to the apartment of a refugee family to hear their migration story, and the Migros Aid ministry center facility.

Sara Ford participated in the retreat and said, “Join Migros Aid for a day of delicious food, experiential learning, and thoughtful prayer as you immerse yourself into the many cultures represented in Indianapolis! Come with an open mind and heart prepared to learn about Migros Aid and its mission to love the nations right here in our city!”

Joe Garner said, “I witnessed generosity that we see very little in our current “US” culture.”

Please click on the dates below to sign up! Saturday – May 14, 11:30 – 2:30

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Want to Get Involved? Dates of Migros 101 in February or March

Want to Get Involved?  Dates of Migros 101 in February or March

Want to get more involved in a hands-on way? Be educated on migration impacting central Indiana and the work of Migros Aid?

Sign up for our Migros 101 here. Anyone who wants to serve with Migros needs to go through this.

Upcoming Migros 101 dates:

  • View upcoming Migros 101 on our home page.

What we cover in Migros 101:

1.) A brief overview of global migration and understanding the how and why of 130k+ immigrants reside in Indianapolis
2.) The Migros Aid story – Our vision/mission/core values/goals
3.) Cross-cultural factors that are important to be aware of when engaging
4.) Discuss the ways you can serve and help and options available
5.) Steps needed to serve / volunteer with us

Our work is in 4 areas:

Continue reading “Want to Get Involved? Dates of Migros 101 in February or March”

Give to our 2021 Year-End Campaign: Operation Welcome

Give to our 2021 Year-End Campaign:  Operation Welcome

We have launched our first virtual year-end campaign to sustain and grow our impact. Click here to learn more

Our goal is $50,000. These funds will allow us to meet our 2021 budget and move into 2022 with the ability to increase our impact.

What your donation will do! Read more and give today

$50: Provides one hour of tutoring to a refugee student

$100: Sponsors our weekly CARE club and provides a warm, nutritional meal for 50+ refugees

$250: Provides Support to increase our mentoring program

$500: Provides one day of support towards our annual expenses

Click here to Make a Donation

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Our Afghan Refugee Response

Our Afghan Refugee Response

Over 7,200 Afghan refugees have been settled into Camp Atterbury in Indiana in the last several months. While the majority of these refugees will eventually settle throughout North America, many have made their new home in Indianapolis. Our focus has been on Afghans arriving here in Indianapolis in several different parts of the city. We have extensive relationships within the Afghan community and have been getting regular referrals of new arrivals requesting aid. We also hear from caseworkers who ask for assistance needed for new families.

We are having Afghan families come to our weekly CARE CLUB and HOMEWORK CLUB for connection and help. Please pray for our team as we navigate the open doors before us for new relationships and impact.

As many Afghani refugees are being settled around the city of Indianapolis, we are focusing our efforts of care and empowerment in the following ways:

  1. Weekly English Classes for Afghani Women. We are currently having English classes two days per week in the community.
  2. Weekly English Classes for Afghani men. We are currently having English Classes two days per week in the community for men
  3. Furniture Donations. We have collected and delivered donated furniture to new families
  4. Household Items from the Amazon Wish List. We have distributed many items from the Amazon wish list
  5. Clothing – Most of the children do not have clothing and we have collected, sorted, and distributed clothing to families
  6. Adjustment & Welcome- Our staff , volunteers and Migros Mentors have been assisting families and providing encouragement and friendship
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Prepare a WELCOME KIT or CLOTHING KIT for a new Refugee Family

Prepare a WELCOME KIT or CLOTHING KIT for a new Refugee Family

Please consider putting together a WELCOME KIT or CLOTHING KIT for refugee families that are arriving! This is a great way for your family, office, small group, church group to put your compassion to action.

As you put together your kit you can put it in a box or clothing basket.

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