We wanted to write to you all to say THANK YOU for your incredible outpouring of love, concern, and support for Mariia and Boris. 

A lot has happened since we first shared their story with the community just three weeks ago. On November 3rd, Mariia was released from detention with the help of formerly detained asylees who secured loans to pay her bond. Five days later Boris was released after the Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support (DCCRS) paid Boris’s $10,000 bond, all raised by this community within a mere two weeks after launching the Gofundme campaign. On November 9th, Mariia and Boris flew together to Newark and were driven to their beautiful temporary home provided by kind volunteers in Delaware County.

Mariia and Boris have had a busy schedule over the past seven days with many people reaching out to visit with them and help them figure out their new life here. They have received offers of housing, transportation, meals, English tutoring, vegetables and food from local producers through the 607CSA, bureaucratic copiloting, advocacy, and friendship. They have been overwhelmed by your kindness and so have we. It’s really special to see what tremendous support you’ve all given in such a short amount of time. 

We’re thankful we live in a community of people who choose to stand with victims of oppression by recognizing that our dignity and theirs, our liberation and theirs, are bound together in our common human experience (paraphrased from Lila Watson/the Aboriginal Rights group, Queensland). DCCRS’s mission is twofold: one, to invite and support refugees and asylum seekers to find their home in Delaware County—we have started with Mariia and Boris—and second, to advocate for the human rights and freedoms of all displaced people—in this we are joined by Mariia and Boris. And through this collective work we strengthen our community and reaffirm the generosity and humanity of each of us here in Delaware County.

It will be another six months before Mariia and Boris are permitted to work. Until then we appreciate any support you are able to give towards the Gofundme campaign. If you would like to volunteer (and haven’t already filled out the paper form), please complete this online volunteer form. In addition, here is the mealtrain page if you would like to provide a meal or contribute to their grocery fund. 

In addition, there are many things we can do to help Boris and Mariia feel at home. For example, they love gaming. Maybe you’d like to invite them for a game night? Mariia would love to start swimming again. Could anyone help her navigate the SUNY Delhi Pool and be her swim buddy? Any offer of friendship will be so appreciated; feel free to make such suggestions on the online volunteer form.

Our website https://delcocrs.org/ will be up and running soon, and we will provide more information about our activities and updates as we go forward.

Mariia and Boris send their heartfelt thanks, as do we,

Mina, Sangeeta, Esther, and Dan

Delaware County Citizens for Refugee Support

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