Philanthropy Partners Announce Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund

Philanthropy Partners Announce Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund

Picture of Muslim mother wearing blue-grey hijab looking lovingly at toddler son in her lap wearing white shirt

Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation Partner to Empower Communities Across America to Welcome New Afghan Neighbors

This piece was originally published by the Schultz Family Foundation on October 25, 2021; we have cross-posted it here with their permission in combination with approval from the Starbucks Foundation. See the original press release here.

Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund to provide $1+ million to assist community-based organizations to engage 10,000+ volunteers across America to help with resettlement efforts

On October 25, the Schultz Family FoundationStand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation announced the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund to support community-based organizations across the United States that are helping Afghan refugees successfully resettle by donating goods, services and volunteer time. As a part of the effort, the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together Foundation and The Starbucks Foundation have committed more than $1 million to provide general operating grants up to $45,000 to qualifying nonprofits in up to 40 communities across the country to increase their capacity to serve individuals and families who have fled Afghanistan.

To support this effort, Welcome.US will raise awareness, foster collaboration and coordinate among resettlement groups and civic organizations, including the more than 100 organizations that comprise its broad coalition of partners. Hello Neighbor, a nonprofit committed to supporting refugees and immigrants, will lead a collaborative learning community as part of the Hello Neighbor Network to share best practices among grantees.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their homeland, many because of threats to their lives and livelihoods due to their association with the United States. Americans want to welcome our new Afghan neighbors to the United States by volunteering their time, donating clothes and furniture, and much more, and most government-funded local resettlement agencies are under immense pressure to coordinate volunteer assistance and non-cash donations.

“Courageous Afghans fleeing their homeland, many of whom honorably served alongside our veterans, deserve to be welcomed with respect and dignity. Helping our Afghan allies successfully integrate into our communities across the country reaffirms our shared humanity and common bonds.” – Sheri and Howard Schultz, co-founders, Schultz Family Foundation

To connect volunteers with the resettlement efforts, the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund will invest in community organizations that are committed to creating opportunities for Americans across the country to directly engage in welcoming and helping Afghan newcomers integrate into their new communities in partnership with local resettlement agencies. We expect these organizations to provide volunteer-led services such as English instruction, driving lessons and job navigation; to coordinate the donation of clothing and household goods; and to organize activities and events to welcome Afghans into their new communities.

“At Starbucks, we have a long history of partnering with others to provide opportunities and drive real impact. We are proud to join the Schultz Family Foundation, Stand Together and Welcome.US in their ongoing efforts to welcome Afghan families in the U.S. We continue to pursue our goal of hiring 10,000 refugees across the globe. But we also know that support goes beyond employment which is why The Starbucks Foundation has committed $350,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations supporting Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and refugee resettlement.” – Virginia Tenpenny, chief social impact officer, Starbucks.

Funders of the Mobilizing America for Refugees Fund will provide general operating grants to community-based organizations that:

  • Operate in a community that is likely to receive Afghan refugees.
  • Are committed to engaging a broad cross-section of their community to support refugees, including volunteers from families, schools, universities, veterans’ organizations and religious organizations.
  • Are partnering with one or more refugee resettlement organizations in their community.
  • Commit to dedicating 3-5 hours per month to learn from and participate in a learning collaborative of like-minded organizations through the grant term led by Hello Neighbor.

Interested organizations can learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions and can apply to receive support online.

Applications are due Wednesday, November 15, 2021. 


Support from the Schultz Family Foundation is part of the Foundation’s $1.1 million overall commitment to support Afghans resettling in the U.S.

“At a time when thousands of Americans and civic organizations are mobilizing to support our new Afghan neighbors...It’s the everyday acts of welcome by volunteers that will show our new neighbors how proud we are that they are rebuilding their lives here – and that will ensure that our new neighbors have what they need to rebuild their lives and contribute to their new communities.” – Nazanin Ash, CEO, Welcome.US.