The U.S. government expects to welcome up to 100,000 people from Ukraine in the coming months. In response, Amazon is partnering with Welcome.US, a national initiative that convenes private, public, and community organizations to support families seeking refuge in the U.S. Amazon has developed a program that uses the company’s logistics expertise and vast product selection to help these families get the items they need to settle quickly and comfortably.
Through the Welcome Essentials delivery program, Amazon provides free scheduled delivery of essential furniture and household products, such as mattresses, bed frames, kitchenware, and toiletries, all timed to arrive when a family moves in to their new home.
“Starting a new life far from your country is hard enough, and we know providing refuge to families with a full-equipped house helps them start a new chapter and feel welcomed. Working with resettlement organizations across the country, we were able to create a new delivery offering that allows newcomers to access all the products they need to equip their home in one single delivery instead of having to order items over multiple weeks,” said Corban Quiqq, the leader of the program at Amazon. “We piloted this new, free delivery option for Afghan refugees in Detroit in March 2022 and are working on expanding the initiative to dozens of communities across the country where the greatest number of Ukrainian families are starting new lives.”
With the support of Welcome.US, Amazon has partnered with 10 resettlement organizations in select cities to implement this service. Resettlement organizations secure permanent housing for newcomer families and then place orders on Amazon Business for goods and housewares deemed necessary in any household according to federal standards. Then, Amazon uses its logistics network and last mile delivery services to group these dozens of items into one delivery that can be scheduled when the family moves in. Families arrive to a fully furnished permanent household without worrying about costs or scheduling delivery, which facilitates a fresh start.
Amazon expects to assist more than 1,000 families resettling in the U.S. in 2022, having already delivered over 2,000 items and nearly $100,000 in essential home goods. In addition to free, scheduled delivery for newcomer families, Amazon has also committed $2 million in product donations to Welcome.US and local resettlement organizations in support of this effort. Welcome.US has also launched the Welcome Essentials platform to enable anyone to donate to the program, with all contributions going directly to the purchase of essential items for newly arriving families.
Earlier this year, Amazon launched Welcome Door, a program for refugees working at the company with additional resources, support, and reimbursement for Employment Authorization Documents. Employees have access to free legal assistance, customized mentorship, and a new Citizenship Assistance Portal that helps them with their U.S. citizenship applications.
According to the United Nations, 100 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide due to the war in Ukraine and other conflicts, including violence, human rights violations, and persecution. As conflicts continue, more families are leaving behind their countries for a new place to call home.