Rotary grants $2,500 to Hearts & Homes to give students of refugee families home learning tools

Editor’s note: This press release was provided by Hearts & Homes for Refugees.

Pelham, NY (January 2021) –  Hearts & Homes for Refugees ( – Westchester’s leading grassroots humanitarian organization partnering with U.S. State Department-designated agencies to welcome, assist and advocate for refugees –  announced today that it has been selected to receive a $2,500 grant from The Rotary Club of the Pelhams to support its Refugee Education Programs. Specifically, the funding will be used to supply more than 18 Westchester-based refugee families with over 40 K-12 and college-aged students among them, with equipment to set up at-home learning centers to help them with virtual learning as the pandemic continues to affect in-person schooling.

Donna Shirreffs, Hearts & Homes for Refugees board member and treasurer of the Rotary Club of the Pelhams.

“When COVID-19 hit Westchester, Hearts & Homes for Refugees immediately went into action to meet the increased needs of resettled refugees, a population particularly vulnerable to the pandemic’s adverse economic and social effects,” said Donna Shirreffs, Hearts & Homes for Refugees Board Member and Treasurer of the Rotary Club of the Pelhams. “Early on, the Rotary Club of the Pelhams recognized an alignment between the missions of the two non-profit organizations and became a volunteer partner supporting Hearts & Homes for Refugees’ COVID food security program. We are so pleased to join forces once again to support refugee families and the remote learning needs of their students of all ages.”

“To create inclusive communities, Hearts & Homes for Refugees harnesses the goodwill of hundreds of people and creates strategic partnerships to engage community support on behalf of refugees, with an added benefit of fostering greater cross-cultural awareness and understanding of refugees,” said Kathie O’Callaghan, President and Founder of Hearts & Homes for Refugees. “We are so grateful to the Rotary Club of Pelhams and Donna’s steady advocacy to help us fulfill our goal of empowering refugee families with critical tools as they strive to integrate and aspire to be independent new Americans.”