ODFR Co-Founder Efrat Livny Honored by YWCA Madison

Each year, YWCA Madison recognizes a select group of women leaders in the Madison area for their community service, professional achievement, integrity, leadership, and dedication to the lives of others. We at ODFR are thrilled to share that our co-founder Efrat Livny is among this year’s Women of Distinction honorees. This award celebrates her wholehearted […]

April is National Volunteer Month

Open Doors for Refugees is a volunteer-driven organization. We’d like to take a moment to appreciate the many people who support us and organizations like us. Not sure how you can help? Please email [email protected]. We will be happy to get back to you. See some of our latest needs: https://odfr.org/volunteer/ Every person that steps […]

Warm Temps, Hot Finish: Freeze for Food 2024

A record warm spring day on March 2, 2024 greeted over 300 runners and walkers for RPCV’s 43rd Annual Freeze for Food Walk/Run, with temperatures of 50-60 F and winds over Lake Wingra clocking a brisk 22 mph. The crowd included toddlers in strollers, dogs on leashes, and participants aged 4 to 82 years, most […]

Meet Cecilia Gillhouse, Open Doors’ New Executive Director

Open Doors for Refugees is happy to announce that we have hired our first Executive Director. This is a major step in the growth of this volunteer-driven organization. Cecilia is a bilingual immigrant from Argentina. She has worked in the Madison community since 2003. Cecilia has more than 20 years of experience providing services and […]

The World & Open Doors in 2023

Open Doors has been through a lot this year, some of which you can learn about below. And as we also look back on the past year’s world events, it is important to remember that these tragedies and their impacts are ongoing; there are efforts we can take to support those effected by these crises. […]

Connecting at the Immigrant Affairs Luncheon

Last week, Leadership Council representatives Madeline, Margaret, and Sallie attended the Dane County Office of Immigration Affairs luncheon celebrating the awesome work this unique county office has done this past year. Immigrant allies working in government, social services, education, and law gathered to connect and reflect on challenges and accomplishments in immigrant advocacy in Dane […]

Thanks for Open Doors Thanksgiving 2023

What a marvelous Open Doors Thanksgiving 2023! A huge thanks goes to all of our mighty 63 volunteers who welcomed 48 children and 52 adults for a celebratory total of 163! Francine Butoto & Emmanuel opened festivities with two songs in Swahili. (See Francine and her four kids on YouTube) The 10 turkeys were delicious! We ate 8, did a drawing for one, and gave […]

Celebrating at our Annual Picnic

Community gathers together at Olin Park On July 9, refugee families, OFDR volunteers, and other community members gathered at Madison’s beautiful Olin Park for Open Doors for Refugees’ annual summer picnic. “One of the things that we like about having this annual picnic is it’s a time for everyone to come together,” Sallie Pisera, an […]

ODFR Community Picnic 2023

You’re invited to a potluck picnic! On Sunday, July 9th from 12-4pm at the Olin Park Pavilion in Madison, Open Doors for Refugees will host a picnic celebrating diversity and community. Come meet neighbors and enjoy an afternoon of delicious food, activities for all ages, and engaging music and dance entertainment representing the diversity of […]

Family Nature Day at Elver Park

ODFR recently partnered with the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to host a family nature day at Elver Park! Though the weather wasn’t what we’d hoped for, we are so appreciative of the families for coming out and the ALNC for their awesome programming! This event included fun activities about animal skins, skulls, and scat, in […]