VFU gathers and distributes gifts, charitable contributions, and bequests in a variety of forms to help those refugees who lack the resources to adequately provide for themselves and their families.
VFU partners with organizations like United Help Ukraine, Bridge Refugee Services, Families First, and local churches to provide housing, job training, English language training, tutoring, transportation, medical care, and more. Recipient and volunteer host families may apply for VFU funds to help with specific needs, such as medical bills for doctor visits, grocery money, and educational expenses.
VFU funding helps to bridge the gap, enabling refugee families to survive as they pursue long-term, stable sources of income and resources for which they are qualified and eligible. VFU’s funding is not intended to support families long term, but to provide them some measure of stability while they establish themselves in their new circumstances.
Basic household goods
Potential recipients of financial support are referred to VFU through our partnering nonprofit organizations. Recipients are required to complete an application form, specifying the amount of funding they are seeking and a detailed description of how the funding would be used. Volunteer host families may assist refugees in the application process and serve as a reference to confirm the specific needs articulated in the application. VFU makes decisions about whether and how much to provide to each applicant on the basis of availability of funds to distribute, urgency and
severity of the applicant’s need, and other related factors - such as the length of time an applicant has been in the United States; whether they are receiving other sources of support from local nonprofits, churches, or government aid, and the amount of other aid; and whether other sources may be available to assist with the need described in the application.
Once decisions are made about each application, applicants are informed in writing of the amount and purpose of the funds they will receive. Recipients are instructed that the funds must be used for the purpose designated in the application, and they are required to submit copies of bills, receipts, and other relevant documentation from legitimate providers (such as landlords, medical providers, grocery stores, the transit authority, etc.). VFU reserves the right to require copies of documentation such as lease agreements, school enrollment documents, and the like; VFU will not receive any information that is protected by privacy laws such as HIPAA. Proof of medical expenses will not contain protected information. In some cases, VFU may opt to distribute funds directly to the end-recipient based on a bill or contract, or VFU may opt to distribute funds via gift card. All receipts will be kept on file and reconciled to VFU’s financial statements as required by law.
Recipients (Ukrainian refugees) who have been admitted to accredited schools including preschools, private schools, colleges, and universities may apply for funding to help with tuition expenses, books, and computers. VFU will cover educational costs for selected recipients according to the following criteria: Ukrainian refugee status, proof of application and proof of admittance to the school, college, or university, and a verifiable statement of account from the school, college, or university.
VFU will select recipients of educational funding according to the following criteria: Ukrainian refugee status, proof of application and proof of admittance to the preschool, school, college, or university, and a verifiable statement of account from the school, college, or university. Support
will be contingent on funding available and allowable for this purpose through VFU’s fundraising efforts.
VFU will pay a full or partial payment amount directly to the school, college, or university. If the student drops their classes before the drop deadline, any refund must go to VFU. If the student drops classes after the drop deadline, the recipient may no longer apply for VFU funding. The scholarship distributed to any one individual will not exceed $10,000.00. Referrals to and from other organizations, including nonprofits groups such as Bridge Refugee Services, Families First, and local churches, would be conducted according to recipient need.
VFU must enlist the help of other nonprofits to address the overwhelming needs of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Tennessee. VFU operates through the generosity of its donors and the work of its volunteers. There are no fee arrangements with other organizations, and VFU receives no compensation or remuneration of any kind from other organizations if/when VFU’s participants are referred for other services.