CWS Lancaster in the Media

Community gathers to support refugee population, amid a Trump proposal that would 'zero' new refugees allowed in the U.S.


To rally against the Trump administration’s proposal to set the maximum number of refugees to zero for fiscal year 2020, about 150 people gathered in Penn Square on Saturday to show solidarity with Lancaster County’s refugees.

The “We Stand for Welcome” event, held outside Central Market, featured speeches from host Church World Service, Lancaster city Mayor Danene Sorace, faith leaders and some refugees who have resettled in Lancaster. The stories of the refugees — those who were separated from their families or are still separated — moved some of the members of the crowd to tears.

A Global Feast in an Unlikely Spot: Lancaster, Pa.

The New York Times:

LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster Central Market, a patchwork of stalls neatly encased in a Romanesque-style downtown building since 1889, has long been a bustling hub where the area’s large Pennsylvania Dutch population sells the fruit, meat, baked goods and other foods produced on farms outside the city.

These days, though, something different is in the air.

The heady scent of spices from the beef samosas at one stall, Rafiki Taste of Africa, mixes with the tang of onions and pineapple being chopped for salsa at Guacamole Specialist. The low growl of sugar cane being crushed into liquid can be heard at Havana Juice. A Puerto Rican flag hangs near the cash register at Christina’s Criollo, where empanadas and sweet plantains are on offer.

Soccer tournament for refugees unites players from different countries, backgrounds


The first year of Church World Service Lancaster’s soccer tournament for refugees was supposed to be low key.

The referees were all volunteers and just four teams signed up to play, said Stephanie Gromek, who co-runs the event.

Then 150 people came out to watch.

Four years later, the tournament — being held this weekend at Franklin & Marshall College — will feature food trucks, guest speakers and professional referees.

Eight teams out of 10 that applied will play on Saturday, with two teams advancing to the championship on Sunday, Gromek, Church World Service’s director of development and communications.

'Now they live in the light’: A Syrian refugee family finds only love and compassion in America

The Washington Post:

February 10, 2017

LANCASTER, Pa. — Maher Almahasneh returned home from his English language class to a small living room filled with guests. He calls them friends.

Harley Kooker, a 71-year-old dairy cattle veterinarian, was huddled in a kitchen corner assembling a new portable washing machine he’d persuaded a local appliance store to donate. His wife, Kate, was sitting on the couch letting the Almahasnehs’ 7-year-old daughter measure her head and her waist with a tape measure. Their case manager from Church World Service was also there, as was an Arabic translator. Within the hour two more women from their Mennonite church welcome team would drop in to say a quick hello…

What Happens When The World's Most Famous Teen Activist Grows Up?




What Happens When Refugees Are Resettled in the US? They—and the communities into which they’re placed—thrive.

The Nation:

By Michelle Chen February 9, 2017

Since President Trump issued his “Muslim ban” executive order, the country has been rocked by a cascade of political chaos, and now a critical legal battle that could soon reach the Supreme Court. But another, less visible crisis is unfolding in communities around the country, where global refugee diasporas have put down roots. For those set to arrive from the seven majority-Muslim nations targeted by the ban, Trump’s blatantly discriminatory decree represents an overarching challenge surrounding his election: how to bridge the divides of ideology and cultural difference in an insecure world.

While the various court challenges to the ban move ahead, refugee lives hang in the balance in Lancaster, Pennsylvania…

For Syrian refugees, uncertainty as legal battle over immigration ban unfolds

PBS News Hour:

 Feb 7, 2017

A Joyful Bustle to Get Ready for Guests: Syrian Refugees

The New York Times:

A Resettlement Mission Upended by the Sweep of a President’s Pen

The New York Times:

Media Requests

To schedule an interview or reqeust information for a news story, please reach out to Stephanie Gromek, Development and Communications Coordinator.

Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.

Church World Service, Inc., is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

ACT Alliance InterAction ICVA BBB Accredited Charity Charity Navigator

Church World Service • 1.800.297.1516 • info@cwsglobal.orgPrivacy