How you can help Syrian Refugees without leaving your hometown
Not everyone can go on a short term volunteer trip to Greece to work with refugees. That is OK. Although volunteers are needed abroad, they are also needed domestically. No matter what country you live in, there are probably displaced people having to resettle near you. Do some detective work to find the local organizations helping refugees. Find out how you can help:
- Can you do a clothing drive?
- Provide meals for a new family?
- Walk to school with a mother and her children on their first day?
- Donate your daily latte money to a non-profit helping locally and abroad?
Donate to Non-Profit Organizations
It doesn’t take much to donate to a non-profit who is doing great work domestically and abroad. Look into NGOs (non-government organizations) who have refugee programs already set up, or call onces you have heard about to find out where to send money.
Here are five reputable organizations (both religiously affiliated and non-religious) we love to support and who are actively working with refugees:
- World Vision
- American Red Cross
- Save the Children
- Servant Group International
Hold a fundraiser
Fundraiser are the perfect opportunity for people who love to organize and throw a good party to raise money for those in need. If you are crafty or love to cook grab your Type A friend to help you pull it all together. Need a few ideas? Here you go.
- Silent action at your school
- Fancy, themed dinner (1920s Jazz age for the win!)
- Backyard BBQ
- Lemonade Stand/Clothing drive
Find out where refugees are settling near you
Recently I spoke with Jyl from Mom It Forward. She told me her church had decided to finally take on the refugee crisis locally. A friend had figured out where most refugees were settling (they tend to band together to help each other out). The church circled around these families to collect furniture, groceries, clothing and more to welcome these refugee families into their community. They wanted to remind these newcomers that they are loved and wanted.; a message they don’t often here in the media and from government organizations.
- Call local non-profits to see if they are helping refugees resettle
- Call your local government office to find out if refugees are being relocated to your town.
- Ask your pastor, iman, rabbi, etc. if they know of any families who have recently resettled and are in need of help.
- Ask your child’s principal if any families have recently enrolled. Many times ESL services are set up for immigrant and refugee children needing help with English lessons.
- Check the Refugee Center for opportunties near you.
Collect necessary items
- Look for organization collecting items for refugees
- Ask if you can help raise money to cover shipping costs if a local NGO is sending items abroad
- Don’t assume you know what someone needs. Always ask an NGO before you send items to them. Donated items can be more of a burden than a help.
Lobby Your Congress men and women
Refugees need our help. While the homeless in America have services available to them in many states, refugees have nothing. They need a safe home where they don’t have to live in fear. Write to your congressman. Call your congress woman. Tell them you want to allow refugees in our country to provide a safe haven for those escaping war and terrorism. Nothing will change unless we speak up.
Want to go on a short-term volunteer trip to work with refugees? Find out how now!