Meet Hello Neighbor’s Very First Co‑Sponsor Team!

It is our absolute pleasure to introduce Church of the Ascension- the very first team to join Hello Neighbor’s newest resettlement volunteer program, Community Co-Sponsorship! The team of dedicated members will be directly assisting our Resettlement team with the important services, financial support, and community building needed to support our newest neighbors as they navigate life in a new country.

This past week, Hello Neighbor joined Church of the Ascension in Oakland for a packed day of learning, self-reflection, discussion, and scenario practice. It was an exciting day for everyone, as the in-person training marked the final training requirement needed in order to match with a newcomer family! The other required trainings include a cultural competency & trauma-informed care session, and an introduction session where our Community Co-Sponsorship Coordinator shares an overview of Hello Neighbor’s program and the sponsor experience.

We have been working together with the Church of the Ascension team over the past couple of months to ensure they have everything they need to successfully support the resettlement of a newcomer family. From the readings and trainings, to the background checks and paperwork- the Church of the Ascension team has powered through with an unparalleled passion to learn and grow. Now, the team is ready to be paired with a newly arriving refugee family and begin their work of welcoming!

Meet one of the Church of the Ascension Team Leaders: Rev. Daniel Behrens

Q: What inspired you to become a co-sponsor team at Hello Neighbor?

RDB: “As I was learning about organizations serving refugees in Pittsburgh I kept hearing about Hello Neighbor. A few folks from our church were already volunteering with HN and had very positive things to say. In an informational meeting about Ukrainian resettlement, Charlie and I were intrigued by the idea of co-sponsorship and started dreaming about building a team from Church of the Ascension. We shared the dream with people around us, and found that others were also eager to have a tangible way to show kindness to a newly-arriving family. We have found the Hello Neighbor staff to be well-organized and responsive and we are delighted to be working together to launch a co-sponsor team.”

Q: What about the co-sponsorship experience are you most looking forward to?

RDB: “I am looking forward to seeing more people in our church equipped and empowered to dive into the messiness of life with our new neighbors. Refugee ministry can sound scary and ambiguous, but the co-sponsorship process guided by Hello Neighbor has made it accessible for us.”

Q: What is one piece of advice you have for anyone deciding whether or not to become a co-sponsor team?

RDB: “Don’t say “no” for people! Just start sharing about co-sponsorship with people in your life, and you will be surprised at who wants to dive in. You might be doing them a big favor by showing them a tangible way to respond to the global refugee crisis!”

Do you have a community group that is interested in welcoming a newcomer family? Fill out our .

For questions or to learn more about how your group can partner with Hello Neighbor to support and resettle a new neighbor family, contact our Community Co-Sponsorship Coordinator, Lexie Garcia, at