Get Involved

 

There are many ways you can get involved to help refugees at home and overseas. 

 

Speak Out

Write to elected representatives and heads of states.  Tell them you care about the treatment of refugees! Share your thoughts on current events and government policy on refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people across the globe. 

United States Government, click here.

Australian Government, click here.

UK Office of the European Parliament, click here

Elected officials contact list by Our World Acting for Democracy here.

For other countries, please take inititative to find links to e-mail and postal addresses, and phone numbers for key elected officials.   

Volunteer

Help refugee immigrants feel welcome and better prepared to face new challenges in your area. Consider volunteering your time through: 
     • mentoring,
     • translation, and or
     • employment advocacy 
 

Donate Materials

Contact a local organization assisting refugees and immigrants in your area to donate: 
     • furniture,
     • kitchen and household Items,
     • cleaning supplies and toiletries, and or
     • food and clothing 
  

Donate Money

Whether small or large amounts, your money can support organizations assisting refugees. Research an organization assisting refugees. 

Sponsor a Refugee or a Refugee Family

This is one of the most rewarding and challenging ways to meet newcomers. You can help them integrate into American life and learn about American culture in the process. Local churches or other organizations can serve as co-sponsors.

Co-sponsorship is not an indefinite commitment. Groups agree to provide specific financial support and other types of help to individual refugees or refugee families for up to six months. Such support may include many of the material donations mentioned previously as well as further financial assistance, especially with housing.

Co-sponsors invest their time and themselves through
     • transportation to appointments and job interviews,
     • help with job applications, interview skills and work practices,
     • school enrollment,
     • English training,
     • cultural orientation, and
     • emotional support

Co-sponsorship must emphasize transitioning to independence, especially economically and occupationally, as quickly as possible. As a refugee ceases to be a refugee and becomes a neighbor and friend, we are all enriched.* 

Organizations in Your Area

Search online about refugee issues and organizations in your area helping refugees and what you can do to help.

In the Washington, DC area:

Catholic Diocese of Arlington Office of Migration and Refugee Services    www.arlingtonrefugeeservices.com

Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. www.ecdcinternational.org

The International Rescue Commitee www.theirc.org/dc 

Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service*    www.lirs.org/DonateServe/serve/OpenHearts.htm   

The United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants www.refugees.org

 
 

Learn More

Forced Migration Review Protracted Displacement, Issue 33, September 2009 (pdf)

Insitute of Race Relations Asylum Seekers and Refugees

2008 Refugee Warehousing Conference

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

World Refugee Survey 2008   by USCRI   

Donate In-Kind to Refugee in the DC Area

 

Our friends at the International Rescue Committee, DC chapter, are furnishing apartments for each newly arrived refugee family and need supplies!  If you live in the Washington, DC area and think you could run a donations drive with your friends, family, or colleagues, please email Kate Evans at Katherine.Evans@theIRC.org.

Here are the household goods they need the most:
 

Winter items: coats, gloves, hats, warm pants, sweaters, socks, blankets

Toiletries: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, toilet paper, soap

Cleaning Supplies: dish soap, cleaner, sponges, detergent, trash cans, garbage bags, mops, brooms

Household goods: towels, sheets, alarm clocks, light bulbs, shower curtains, laundry baskets, international phone cards

Kitchen Items: silverware, dishes, pots, pans, mixing bowls, kitchen utensils, can openers, knives, cutting boards, glasses, mugs

Items can be new or gently used.  They  are in great need - please encourage others to help!