A Message from our President and CEO

One hundred years ago, people of strong faith, love, and compassion founded our organization to help individuals and families struggling with life’s most challenging issues. Thank you for being a part of our story.

During this season of love, I find myself reflecting on our many programs that help the homeless, hungry and vulnerable in our community, and how those helped often find ways to help others. I would like to share the stories of two individuals who came to us through our refugee resettlement program...stories of great loss and great hope.

Tek and his family fled their farm in Bhutan when he was 9 years old. He spent the next 18 years in a resettlement camp in Nepal where his family survived in a hut with a plastic roof, no electricity, and little clean water and food. While there, Tek worked very hard to learn English, and ultimately helped pay for his continuing education by tutoring others in English. Resettling here in Rochester he attained a college degree and now works at CFC to aid others who come here seeking a new life.


Fatuma was 5 years old when, for their safety, she and her sister were sent from their family in Afghanistan to live as refugees in Kenya. For 15 years, they waited for the opportunity to come to the US. Her sister died during this time due to medical complications, and at 21, Fatuma came on her own. She currently works part-time as a nanny, is improving her English, and plans to go to school to be a business woman.

Both of these young adults are making positive contributions to our community – Tek has a weekend radio show to help other refugees. Fatuma looks forward to a time when she can become a US citizen and perhaps succeed in bringing her mother, who she has not seen since she left Afghanistan, to live with her.

What we see each and every day is how hope multiplies and expands. When CFC helps those most in need, they in turn help others in need. During this season of hope, please join us once again so that together we can create a brighter future for us all. Please give today.

Thank you for being a part of our family.

Best wishes for a very peaceful and happy holiday season, and a joyful New Year.

Marlene Bessette
President and CEO