For additional details, see our page dedicated to Heartland’s Refugee Family Ministry.

Heartland is partnering with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Des Moines to sponsor a refugee family.  Their goal is to offer newcomers the opportunity to become contributing members of their communities, obtain employment and learn English, with the hope of easing their transition to life in the U.S. 

The Heartland Refuge Family Ministry (HRFM) has been formed within our church to assist an assigned family with resettlement.  This group will help ensure the family’s basic needs are met, in addition to assisting with integration into our community. As a community sponsor our ministry will:

  • Gather furnishings and home goods and set up an apartment.
  • Plan a gracious airport welcome and coordinate the transportation of our family and their luggage to their new residence.
  • Provide a warm meal for the family’s arrival, stock their pantry, and assist with acquiring groceries. 
  • Stay involved with the family by participating in the Family Friends program – serving as a friend and resource to orient families to their new community during their first six months in the U.S.

As soon as the Heartland Refugee Family Ministry team has collected the resources needed, USCRI will match us to a family. Once matched to a family, there will be about a month to get the apartment ready and to prepare for their welcome.

How YOU can help: 

  • Donate cash. Make checks out to Heartland Presbyterian Church; write Refugee Family Ministry in memo line. Place checks in the church collection basket or mail to Heartland Presbyterian Church, 14300 Hickman Rd, Clive, IA 50325. Donations can also be made online.
  • Begin gathering items that the family will need to set up a household – furniture, kitchen items, linens, and cleaning supplies. You will be asked to itemize what you intend to donate on the Sign-up Genius website. (This link will be published soon!) 
  • Volunteer to help with various collection/set up activities. Watch the Heartland Happenings weekly email and our Facebook page for details to come.
  • Join our team in learning about the culture of the family whom we sponsor so that we can become culturally competent about the customs and traditions of the home country of the refugee family.
  • Pray for the family, as they adjust to their new surroundings and situation.
  • Enjoy and learn from the experience! 

Information about how to use Sign-up Genius and the collection process will be announced soon. Please check back!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are refugees from?

In recent years, the majority of those resettled in the Des Moines community are from Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, and Afghanistan.  Refugees are forcibly displaced due to ethnic, political, or religious persecution, economic or political instability, or war.

Where will they live?

Newly resettled refugees live in Des Moines and surrounding areas such as Johnston, Urbandale, and West Des Moines.  Proximity to family members and to the USCRI Des Moines office for access to programs and services is key.

How are our cash donations used?

Cash donations are primarily used towards the refugee family’s rent and other necessities such as food, work uniforms, medication, etc.  However, once the family becomes self-sufficient any remaining balance will be used to help other refugee families most in need.

How long is our commitment?

It’s up to our ministry to determine how long we support the family.  The commitment depends on the family’s needs and can last up to six months.