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First Friends

2019 Annual Thanksgiving with First Friends and Refugee Families

Greetings! Thank you for being willing to help welcome, serve and include our First Friend neighbors - refugees from Syria that a number of families and volunteers from our church have befriended over the years. We will host a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, November 16th at 4:00 pm. Most of these families have come to this dinner for the past years, so we want people to experience, again, First Presbyterian hospitality and love at its best. This is also an event for us to get to know our neighbors within the church, and in Evanston. There will be volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Evanston (FPCE) and several from the community. The Vineyard Church and several of thier refugee families may join us also. Commit yourselves to following Jesus as he lives a life of giving and receiving hospitality.  And please remember, flexibility is key with this event!!

Please take the time to sign up to whether you are planning on volunteering or just attending with your family - we hope to have a final count of guests by Sunday, November 10, 2019.

For those wanting to help, we are asking you to choose to volunteer in one or more of the following ways:

  • Host a table of refugees*. This means you will be serving the food, and clearing the tables. You might choose to do this with the refugee family, or others from inside or outside the church.
  • Be a greeter to help welcome the refugees coming to the church
  • Be a driver to go pick up a refugee family and return them home after the event
  • Be part of the clean up team**
  • Be available for odd jobs
  • Give a donation toward the cost of the food

*TABLE HOST- Please indicate who you would like to be paired with in the comments section.

** CLEAN UP TEAM- please be prepared to stay till the clean up is fully complete.

Depending on what you sign up for, we will let you know what time you are needed. But most volunteers (except for drivers and clean up crew) should plan to arrive at 3:30 pm in the dining room of First Presbyterian Church, on Saturday the 16th. (Address of FPCE is below.) The event will begin with a gathering in the sanctuary between 4:00-5:00 pm with a greeting from Pastor Younan. We will then move to the dining room for the meal. We expect to finish close to 6:30 pm. Clean up will finish a bit later. If you are not available to help that night but would like to give, let us know the amount and we will contact you about the best way to give the money.

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have questions!


(FPCE) Kelly Levander: [email protected] (847) 864-1472 Ext: 506

Date: 11/16/2019 (Sat.)

Time: 4:00pm - 8:00pm CST

Location: First Presbyterian Church Evanston

Created by:   Caryl Weinberg
Already signed up? You can change your sign up.

Available Slot

Attending with refugee family (please put number of guests in the comments section)

7 slots filled - more available
Ellen Gabrielse (2)
Azizeh Edris and kids have already signed up with Caryl, so the number is for Jerry and me.
Sally Ivaska (5)
The Nour family

Table Host (24)

List who you would like to be paired with in comments- 2 hosts per table.

18 of 24 slots filled
Jeannette Moss
Allun and I can host one table
Sally Ivaska (2)
Can be paired with anyone
Julia Coll
can be paired with anyone
Caryl Weinberg
My family of 5 is coming. I’m waiting to hear from the second family!!
Janice Dobschuetz (2)
We will be attending with 9 of our refugee family (Amal and Nadim's family)
Melanie Myatt
Anna Van Heukelem (2)
Dan and I can host a table
Karen Jared
Can be paired with anyone.
Julie Lepley (3)
We would like to sit without Syrian family along with the Dobschuetz family
Laurie Oh
With anyone
Raymond Hylton (2)
With Judith
Kon Savoy
Can be paired with anyone

Clean up crew (8)

Please be willing to stay until all clean up is done (around 8 pm)

7 of 8 slots filled
Sally Ivaska (2)
me and Dave
Cam Traut
I'll be there to help
Karen Jared
I will help.
Ellen Gabrielse (2)
As we'll be coming from visiting Jerry's mom, helping afterwards is the only workable option.
Kathleen Lin

Child care help (6)

Working with kids during the event

2 of 6 slots filled
Tricia Vaaga
Hannah McConnell
I can stay until 6 pm.

Greeter/General Help (8)

Greet and guid people to the sanctuary, help with odds and ends that need to be covered

All slots filled
Sharon Smith
I will be a greeter.
May Tchao
Will be there to help
Kung-Siu Yeo
I can help setting up.
Dale Cooper
Help as needed
Oakley Smith
Greet and general help
Kim Langlois (2)
Kim and Alexis
Cam Traut
Glad to do whatever!

Donate money towards event

We welcome the help to cover the expense of this event. Make the check out to First Pres and note that it is for First Friends.

1 slot filled - more available
Jeannette Moss


Please note how many people you can accomodate in your vehicle

5 slots filled - more available
Allun Ren (3)
I can take 3 people
Hannah McConnell
I can stay until 6 pm, so could pick up a family if another driver can drop them off.
Kon Savoy
pick-up and drop-off
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