What Can You Do to Help?
The loss of a home. Separation from friends and family. An unknown journey ahead without any outside support.
These situations are not just words on a page, but they are realities for millions of refugees around the world today. As these individuals and families flee their homes from whatever trial they are facing, they are in need of support from those who have resources to spare.
That’s where we come in.
All of us have the capacity to make a difference in the life of a refugee, but many people don’t know the best ways to help. How do I help someone halfway across the globe in a way that can make an actual difference? With these four ways to support refugees during their time of crisis, you will be prepared to make an immediate action to help these individuals and families in need.
How to Support Refugees
1. Donate Financially
Being the most popular means of offering assistance to those in need, it’s never been easier to financially support humanitarian needs more than it is today.
Nowadays, all you need is a credit/debit card and internet access in order to give financially to an organization or specific cause. This improved process has significantly changed the landscape of charitable giving over the years.
As far as organizations and causes go, there are countless opportunities to give in a specific manner. If your heart is pulled towards young refugee children and you’re wanting to provide them with essential resources, there are many opportunities to choose from. Unicef, for example, uses specifically designated funds to provide children in need with blankets, toys or even educational items. Other people might want to support refugee children by sustaining them with daily food. This can be done through a brilliant mobile app by the United Nations World Food Programme called Share The Meal which provides one day’s worth of meals for one child for only $0.50.
Another way to provide financial assistance to refugees in need is through airline miles. While this option may seem less traditional and not as mainstream, it can be a huge help to those who are separated from their families. Thanks to the innovative organization called Miles4Migrants, you are able to provide free flights to refugee family members who are separated by states or country borders. Through the donation of your unused flight miles, you could pave the way for family members to once again be together after months or years apart.
Though this next example may not be your typical charitable act, it captures the heart of every shopper. UK-based Help Refugees created an online a pop up store called Choose Love where you can shop for everyday essentials and clothing layers not for yourself, but for refugees in need. While you add items to your personal shopping cart, once these items are purchased, they will be delivered to children or adult refugees who need these specific items.
These creative ways of financially contributing to the global refugee crisis are wonderful ways to provide those in need with the items they need.
2. Donate Time
If you’re looking for another way to provide help to refugees across the globe but don’t have the financial resources on hand, a great way to help is by donating your time! Just as there are many options to help refugees through financial means, there are countless opportunities for offering a small portion of your time.
One option still revolves around financial charity, but it will come from the collection of many people - fundraising events. This amazing way to support refugees throughout the world creates an amazing experience for all of the attendees as they are greatly encouraged by the crowd of people who share the same passion. No matter the organization or cause they are choosing to support financially, the main goal of providing crisis alleviation for refugees remains the same.
Another traditional, but incredibly effective, means of refugee support is volunteering at food packing organizations. There are few experiences quite like getting a group of friends, coworkers or family members together to pack meals that will be sent overseas to refugees who are needing immediate hunger relief. Donating through these events not only provides support to refugees in need, but also brings people together who are wanting to help which makes for an uplifting experience.
3. Share Refugees Stories
As digital use throughout the world rises, its role in creating awareness about various social issues has continued to increase. Social media is now a widely used platform for users to share their stories to countless people. Using the tool as a medium to tell stories about refugees, their living conditions and their needs is an amazing asset to support this group of people.
Whether it be on a social media platform, blog or any other digital medium, individuals can keep up to date with current refugee events and respond to these news items by sharing them with others in their social circle. Being connected like never before, this allows a greater number of people to see what is happening and be prompted to act in support.
Quite opposite from the digital side of things, another extremely effective mode of sharing refugee stories is simply speaking with others about what is happening. Whether this happens in front of a group of people, or one on one with a friend or colleague, speaking directly with others gives you the chance to share the passion you have behind providing care and resources to the refugee population. While these options may not help a refugee directly, it is a way to raise awareness to those who may not be familiar with the refugee crisis.
4. Show Direct Support
Possibly the most personal and important support a refugee can receive is an encouraging letter from someone who cares for them in their current situation. Knowing that someone recognizes the pain you’re going through and chooses to stand by you is an incredibly comforting and strengthening action.
One organization doing a fantastic job at this is called CARE. Inspired by heartfelt action from former World War II refugees writing to newly displaced Syrian refugees in 2016, Letters of Hope was created. Through this initiative, you can digitally or physically send notes of care and encouragement to current refugees across the world.
Can you help?
Just because you aren’t able to travel overseas and volunteer for 2 months at a refugee resettlement camp doesn’t mean you can’t help those in need. Remain aware of current organizations, events, volunteer opportunities, and other unique ways to help refugees.
If you’re looking to support local refugees, check out our amazing bracelets created from recycled life-vests worn by refugees as they dangerously made their way across the Mediterranean Sea to safety. These products provide employment for refugees and 50% of the profits are donated to provide scholarships to refugees who are pursuing college education.
Contact us today to learn more!