RRRS Mission Statement

Collaborating to provide services and opportunities to ensure assimilation of refugees into our society by providing assistance as they strive to be self-sustaining neighbors while still maintaining their own cultural heritage.

All of the organizations listed on this site are in great need of volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, there are links for contacting each organization on their respective pages.

Special Recognition

photo of John Nieboer

Our organization would be nowhere without the support of dedicated people.
John Nieboer has been an unsung hero to our people. He has daily transported our refugee workers to their jobs and picked them up in his 12 passenger van. Without him we could not have accomplished what we have with our work force. John, we are deeply indebted to you!

Rotary Interact Club

photo of Rotary Interact Club

RRRS, along with Rochester Northwest Rotary, sponsors a Rotary Interact Club at the Rochester International Academy (RIA) located at Jefferson High School. RIA is the city school for newly arrived students from other countries, almost exclusively refugees.

This is the fifth year for the Interact Club, which has been made up of refugees since its inception.

This year the Club has more than 15 members from 8 different countries. The purpose of Interact Clubs is to develop in student members the concept of “Service Above Self”, which is the Rotary International’s motto.

The Club focuses on raising money to support projects in third world countries. In past years, the club has sent money to Africa to help with an elementary school, and has raised money to start a water project in Thailand where some of the refugee Interact Club members are from. The main source of income for the Club is the sale of dwarf sunflowers which they raise from seeds in the school’s greenhouse.

This year, the club has organized two other committees besides the one that works the greenhouse, one being a college committee which will seek colleges to give presentations to students and a website committee to form their own website. We will keep you posted!

Plants are Growing!

The Interact Club is doing very well. The students have planted hundreds of plants ranging from sunflowers to tomatoes to okra to peppers. Every week they try to plant 100-200 bulbs. So far, the students are very happy with the results as well as learning how to plant and what it takes to maintain it.

The students sold over $1,000 worth of sunflowers during the Rose Festival; the funds raised will go toward various projects in the United States and in South Sudan.

We Are Moving Again

We are in the process of moving down the street from 1442 Dewey Avenue to 759 Dewey Avenue, on the corner of Lexington and Dewey. The new location is close to Mary's Place Refugee Outreach Center, located at 414 Lexington Avenue. This will allow us to better serve the refugee community. It is our hope that this will be our permanent location.

Our Vehicles

The 12 passenger Dodge van is working well. We recently acquired a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. This is an older Chevy sedan with a tons of miles on it, but it has cleaned up well and runs. We need the van and the sedan to transport the refugees to work, appointments, and to transport goods. So, keep an eye out for us on the road.

Our Temp Agency

We have had a great three years with our temp agency, having had more than 30 refugees working at one time in 4 different locations. It is great to see the satisfaction that these folks get in being able to work to support themselves. It is equally pleasing to hear the compliments from employers who appreciate the great work ethic, dependability and commitment that refugees bring to the job.

As we go into year four of the program we plan on holding annual vocational classes to guide the refugees to more permanent occupations. For example, this Spring we successfully held a basic machine tool class and graduated 13 refugees who we are now helping find work. We also plan on holding a Certified Nursing Assistant class this Fall.

Drivers Education

We also notice how the refugees’ inability to drive has denied them many opportunities especially when it comes to finding and maintaining work. Hence we plan on holding an annual drivers’ education class starting this summer, so they can pass the tests for the learner’s permits, and provide them the instruction to pass their road tests and get their driver’s licenses. We believe this will greatly enhance the refugees' chances of a holding a job and further taking advange of the opportunities the city offers. We need volunteer drivers to ride along and instruct. Professional guidance will be provided. If you would like to help, please contact us at 585-319-3134.