If you are concerned about the recent Executive Order and how you can advocate for Refugees, I thought I’d share a couple of resources, both local and national.
For 15 years, my wife worked for Bethany Christian Services. They’ve posted a number of eye-opening resources and ways to help both on their web site and Facebook page. Here’s a small portion of it, but there’s much more at the site and FB page.
5 Things You Can Do to Advocate for Refugees
1. Sign THIS PETITION – we got more than 37,000 signatures within 24 hours and we need to KEEP GOING!
2. TWEET @realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse
- .@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse: Americans support refugee resettlement: 40K signatures in 24 hours: http://bit.ly/2jwI8LV #GreaterAs1
- .@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse: Keep America welcoming. Refugee resettlement is a proud American legacy with bipartisan support #GreaterAs1
- .@realDonaldTrump, @WhiteHouse: People of faith OPPOSE a religious litmus test for refugees: bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees hias.org/1500rabbis
- .@realDonaldTrump, @WhiteHouse: Denying Muslim refugees safety = affront to religious liberty. bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees #GreaterAs1
- .@realDonaldTrump, @WhiteHouse: 800+ faith leaders oppose policies keeping Muslim refugees from seeking safety: bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees
- .@realDonaldTrump & @WhiteHouse: Christians oppose policies that would deny Muslims refuge: bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees #GreaterAs1
3. LIRS, and all of the national resettlement organizations, have jointly developed a series of videos and a social media campaign – Refugees Love America – to combat anti-refugee sentiment and open up important public dialogue.
Overview of “Refugees Love America”
It is clear that a high percentage of Americans have been misinformed, as they believe that refugees do not care about this country, nor do they share “American values”. It’s our responsibility to engage those Americans in conversation, and begin to educate them. We need to show them that refugees are not a drain on America, but bring immeasurable value to this country. We know that refugees not only bring value to America, but they unconditionally love this country, and will defend America as if they were born here—we need to reinforce this message, and change the conversation.
- Learn more about the campaign and initial advocacy actions here: http://www.rcusa.org/refugees-love-america
- Here are the first three videos of refugees talking about why they love America. (There are seven more in production).
4. SEND A MESSAGE at whitehouse.gov/contact and comment on a post on the White House Facebook page: Facebook.com/WhiteHouse
President Trump, We are hearing that you will stop refugee resettlement based on someone’s nationality or religion. As a faith group, we are STRONGLY opposed to any policy change that would deny access to refugees based on their religion or nationality. Please reject such ideas, as a religious litmus test for safety is an affront to religious liberty. As faith groups that work with thousands of members of our communities in churches and synagogues across the country to welcome refugees every day, we oppose any plan to reduce refugee admissions and to prevent Muslim refugees from being resettled in the United States. We urge you to allow the U.S. refugee program to continue to resettle refugees that need our protection regardless of where they come from or how they pray. Thank you for your leadership in ensuring the U.S. remains a beacon of hope for all those who are persecuted that seek peace, safety and freedom. bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees More than 800 faith leaders: “The U.S. Refugee Resettlement program has been and should remain open to those of any religious tradition who face persecution on account of the reasons enumerated under U.S. law. We oppose any proposal that would prevent Syrian refugees or individuals who practice Islam and other faiths from accessing the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Proposals that would have the U.S. State Department disqualify refugees from protection based on their nationality or religion fly in the face of the very principles this nation was built upon, contradict the legacy of leadership our country has historically demonstrated, and dishonor our shared humanity.” bit.ly/FaithLeaders4ALLRefugees
5. CALL THE WHITE HOUSE – The White House public comment phone line is no longer taking messages, however you may be able to reach an operator at the White House switchboard if you remain on the line: 202-456-1414.
For those who are local to the Greensboro area, The 5:14 Initiative is a local mission organization that my wife and I support financially. They have some practical ways that you can serve refugees who are here in Greensboro: http://the514i.com/serve/
Perhaps you want to help in some way but you just do not know where to start?
- You can donate bus tickets to through our non-profit so that refugee adults can learn to speak english which makes or breaks their job opportunities and thus their quality of life.
- Be a tutor at The Newcomers School (we can help you with that process).
- Volunteer at The New Arrivals Institute to watch the small children while the parents learn English or be a tutor for the kids when they arrive home from The Newcomers School (we can get you in touch with the right people).
- Donate tax-deductible gifts to The 5:14 Initiative and we will determine the best place of need. For instance, one family gave a financial gift, but did not have a preference, so we used it to buy 88 backpacks for refugees attending The Newcomers School.
- Soccer is a great way to donate your gift of time. There is a treendous need for drivers and people to bring snacks. Please contact Michael at 336.210-1997 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a growing and thriving need.
- Donate school supplies to The Newcomers School.
- Become an advocate for a family. We will assign you to a refugee family that needs help in navigating all of the new responsibilities that come with living in the United States.