What We Do
Our New Neighbors
Families in our program come from 32+ countries including Chad, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Ghana, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan & more.
We match newly-arrived refugee and asylum-seeking families with local "partner" families who have slightly older kids.
Each local partner family commits to send or deliver 2-3 clothing hand-me-down packages per year to its partner family.
The New Neighbors Partnership matches refugee, asylee, and asylum-seeking families with local New York City families who have slightly older kids and can pass on hand-me-down clothing donations on a regular basis. This initiative provides ongoing support to families who usually receive (at most) three months of government agency assistance when they first arrive in the United States.
Kids grow quickly, families have continuous need for children's clothing, and New York City non-profits lack the manpower to run continuous clothing drives and sort donations, as well as the space to store donations - with the NNP, clothes go directly from the families that have them to the families that need them.
Additionally, more than half of clothing ends up in a landfill within a year of being manufactured. Ensuring clothes are reused protects our environment from needless waste.
Hand-me-down partnerships have been established between New York families and newly-resettled families from 32 countries, including Afghanistan, Guinea, Ukraine, Central African Republic, China, Ghana, Egypt, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Chad, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Burkina Faso, Russia, El Salvador, Tanzania, Guatemala, Haiti, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Azerbaijan.
Mother from Ukraine
THANK YOU for all your support and help for us during this hard year (new country, new job, new apartment, new school, no friends, everything from square one)... I literally was blindsided by generosity of people who even don't know me...we appreciate it very much!
Father from Chad
Thank you very much, my wife and I are so grateful to you. Thanks again for all your donations. May God bless you for it.
Mother from Pakistan
Thank you so much for everything - it was all the things which I need. I appreciated your support, its not forgettable. Once again thank you so much for helping us.
[My client] is humbled by the generosity that has been extended to her and her family.
She also feels very blessed to have been chosen to be helped by this group. It has served to restore her hope for tomorrow.
On behalf of the family, many thanks and may God continue to bless the work that the organization does. The impact that it has had on this one family is priceless.
Kourtegue Tichitchaou is a multilingual professional from Chad with extensive translation experience who holds a degree in economics and speaks English, French, Chadian Arabic and Gorane.
Khadija Kakar is holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration and has worked for several international organizations empowering women, including International Rescue Committee. She recently relocated to the US.
Andrea Yarad has a Master's degree in quality and productivity management as well as extensive knowledge of project management, scrum and agile methodologies. Originally from Ecuador, she now lives in NY with her family. She speaks Spanish, French and English.
Founder, Executive Director
Shoshana Akabas holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University and has worked with refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. and Middle East.
Amany Soliman holds a masters in public policy and has a background in business and accounting. She moved to the U.S. from Egypt in 2018.
Liana Popova holds a masters in engineering. She is from Ukraine, where she also worked as an accountant, and now lives with her family in New York.
Camila Carrion is a proud Ecuadorian immigrant with a bachelor’s degree in Ecotourism Engineering. Camila speaks Spanish & English and she loves to travel and spend quality time with her family.
Maryam Khpolwak brings extensive experience in project management, HR, and accounting, as well as a knowledge of Dari, Pashto, English, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, and Turkish. Before relocating to the US, she worked for the Alliance for International Women Rights, Danish Refugee Council, USAID, and the UN.
In the News
Fox 5 NY / July 2022
Initiative Matches Refugee Families to New Neighbors: 'A Friendly Connection Can Make All the Difference'
Parents Magazine / January 2022
How Used Clothing Brings Hope—And Community—To Refugee Families
Elle Magazine / December 2021
How to Volunteer or Donate to Help Others This School Year
The New York Times / August 2020
Letter to the Editor - Coronavirus in America: A Highlight Reel
The New York Times / April 2020
Service Spotlight: New Neighbors Clothing Partnership
The Smile Project / January 2020
Shoshana Akabas Welcomes Refugees in New York through Her Family-Match Program, New Neighbors Clothing Partnership
The Pollination Project / November 2019
Grant Announcement: New Neighbors Clothing Partnership
The Awesome Foundation / April 2019