Support Ukrainians as Part of a Sponsor Circle

Global Cleveland is helping to facilitate Sponsor Circles for Ukrainian families fleeing the war. This will allow citizens who want to help refugee families make a real difference in the lives of Ukrainians seeking refuge by welcoming them to Northeast Ohio.

What is the Uniting For Ukraine Program?

Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge in the United States can temporarily live in the U.S. for a 2 year parole period through the Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program. In order for Ukrainians and their immediate family members to apply for the U4U program, they must have a supporter in the United States who will help support their stay in the U.S.

What are Sponsor Circles?

Have you ever wanted to help refugees find a home and safety in the U.S.? Sponsor Circles allow everyday Americans make a tangible difference in the lives of refugees.

Sponsor Circle programs are the chance for a group of Americans to welcome international newcomers to the United States. A Sponsor Circle consists of a group of at least five adults who join together and commit to supporting a newcomer into their home community. Collaborating as a group gives Sponsor Circle participants the chance share the responsibilities of welcoming a newcomer while still making a real difference in a refugee family’s lives.

Apply As A Sponsor Circle

What is the Process for Forming a Sponsor Circle?

This community-led initiative supports Americans in taking on the responsibility of welcoming Ukrainian refugees to their communities. The responsibility of welcoming is both serious and rewarding. It can bring you and your neighbors closer together and provide a newcomer with the opportunity to begin again.

Contact Global Cleveland and let us know of your interest in forming a Sponsor Circle and we can help guide you thorough the process!

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Find 4 friends (18 years old+) in your community who would commit to being in your Sponsor Circle.

Every member of the Sponsor Circle will complete a background check.

Complete a Sponsor Circles Community Sponsorship Essentials training, complete a Welcome Plan, and have every member of your Circle sign a code of conduct agreement.

Access the Welcome Plan

Sponsor Circle members fundraise to support the Ukrainians you are welcoming.

Apply for Sponsor Circle support.

Sponsor Circle Application

What are the responsibilities for Sponsor Circles?

Sponsor Circle Responsibilities

Global Cleveland's Responsibilities


  • Helping the sponsored family find appropriate housing and assisting with the lease if necessary (co-sign)
  • Helping the family move into their new home and set up utilities and services
  • Providing furnishings and household items
  • Ensuring that the apartment is clean and ready
  • Assisting with communicating with the management regarding any repairs or other issues

Organizing Welcoming Events

  • Meet and greet family at the airport
  • Organizing a welcoming event for the family

Social Connections

  • Connecting the family with local cultural and religious organizations
  • Helping the family make friends and develop social connections
  • Providing emotional support and guidance
  • Organizing playdates and other activities for children to help them make friends & connections

Food and Clothing

  • Coordinating with local food banks, or meal programs
  • Driving the sponsored family to grocery stores
  • Providing appropriate clothing for the family (donations, a ride to mall/or thrift store)


  • Helping the sponsored family enroll in English classes or other educational programs
  • Be prepared to help explain nuances of English vocabulary
  • Helping the family navigate the local school system

Financial Support

  • Fundraising and coordinating financial support to cover the costs of rent, utilities, and other necessary expenses for 3-6 months
  • Helping the family open bank accounts
  • Providing guidance on budgeting and financial planning


  • Helping the family complete necessary paperwork, including immigration forms, SSN, applications for benefits, and other legal documents
  • Ensuring that all necessary documentation is submitted accurately and on time

Logistical Support

  • Providing transportation for the family to appointments
  • Coordinating with local resources (resettlement organizations)
  • Providing translation and interpretation support, if possible

Finding Families

  • Vetting families
  • Assessing families’ needs
  • Matching Sponsor Circles with Ukrainian families

Providing post-arrival family support

  • Facilitating information sessions about how to apply for SSN and benefits
  • Providing guidance to families about the Ukrainian community and resources in the area and online.
  • Engaging families with the Global Cleveland programs for refugees.
  • Providing information about resources, such as
    • English as a Second Language programs,
    • Doctors, real estate agents, daycare providers and other specialists who speak Ukrainian/Russian, etc.
    • Employers who employ speakers with limited English ability
    • Immigration Resource Guide
  • Cultural Awareness Training

Providing post-arrival Sponsor Circle support

  • Facilitating a welcoming event for several families and their Support Circles
  • Engaging Global Cleveland volunteer group
  • Providing networking Support
    • Engaging other organizations in Cleveland with Sponsor Circles
    • Create platform/group for support and exchange of ideas among the Sponsor Circles

Sponsor Circles

  • Helping to form Sponsor Circles
  • Advocating for the self-formation of Sponsor Circles


  • Assisting and providing guidance when filling out documentation and other paperwork

Preparing Sponsor Circles to receive families, by informing about:

  • Resettlement process
  • Successful fundraising campaign strategies
  • Planning documents
  • Comprehensive checklists tailored to specific families’ needs
  • Delegation of responsibilities among the Sponsor Circle members and their community support
  • Tips for communicating via Google Translate
  • Navigation of rental housing market
  • Cultural awareness training

Questions About Sponsor Circles for Ukrainians?

Contact Anastasia