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As we approach this Veterans Day weekend, the Virginia Annual Conference recognizes the work of the VAUMC Refugee Response Team. This team shares the following message and opportunity with the membership of the Virginia Annual Conference:

Veterans Day is a day to honor and thank the service of all who have served in both peace and wartime in the United States armed forces. The Virginia Conference Refugee Response Team, during this time, also wants to recognize the service of Afghan refugees who served with U.S. troops prior to the fall of the Afghan government in August 2021.
Many of these individuals have relocated to the United States and, over the last two years, opportunities have been shared for VAUMC members and churches to support these refugees as they first traveled to the U.S. and resettled into new homes and communities.

Through the ‘2023 Thank Them for Their Service’ campaign, one of the best ways that individuals and churches can continue to support Afghan neighbors is by donating through the nonprofit FAMIL*.

The nonprofit’s Wounded Heroes Program assists Afghan veterans, approximately one-third of whom (about 120-150 individuals) reside in Virginia. These veterans include individuals living with amputations, paralysis, and severe blast injuries.
This program seeks to provide customized solutions to address the immediate and unmet needs of wounded Afghan veterans who are actively working to achieve self-sufficiency, restoration of their dignity, and pursuit of new opportunities.

A donation to FAMIL can assist in a few different ways:

$25 will help buy prosthetic liners/socks (replaced every 6-12 months) which cost $400-600 per person per year
$134 will buy a session of physical therapy
$150 will buy a month’s worth of prosthetic equipment, physical therapy, and assistive technology for an amputee

To support this work, you can give directly through FAMIL’s website at

For questions about FAMIL and the work they engage in, visit or contact Founder Geeta Bakshi at [email protected].

For questions about the Virginia Annual Conference Refugee Response Team, contact Julianne Paunescu at [email protected].

For any other questions, please contact Rev. Jo Ann Batteiger, Assistant Director of Missional Engagement at [email protected].

We hope that you will continue to be the hands and feet of Christ and help to bring love and wholeness to these individuals who have sacrificed so much for our country.

-VAUMC Refugee Response Team

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