Because we can’t do nothing: Practical ways to help the refugee crisis
It’s been quite the past few weeks, news-wise. I’ve watched, as many of you have, with heartache as parents, grandparents, children, and neighbors transitioned into life as a refugee. I’ve also watched, with tearful admiration and solidarity, thousands of people who’ve rolled up their sleeves and played parts small and not-so-small in this, the largest global refugee crisis we’ve seen since World War II.
If you’re like me, you’re desperate to do something, but it’s hard to know even where to begin. I hope this post might help you out.
Understanding the crisis
• This is a great primer on what, exactly, is happening: 9 questions you were embarrassed to ask about the refugee crisis.
• Curious about Syria’s history? This post I wrote and recently republished covers some of that. (It’s one of the oldest countries in the world.)
• Sobering thoughts from Nicholas Kristof on why compassion for refugees isn’t enough.
• Kristof also reminds us how easily we should be able to see ourselves in refugees, along with thoughts on how to alleviate the problem at the source.
• A helpful, outside-the-box perspective on what really needs to happen in this crisis.
What people are doing
• Pope Francis is asking local parishes to take in refugees, just like the Vatican is taking in two families.
• Young Germans have started an Airbnb-esque site that pairs refugees with those willing to share space. Here, they share the positive experience they’ve had opening their home to those who need a roof.
• This wealthy entrepreneur moved his family to Malta to found an organization saving refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
• Eat Chobani yogurt? I will from now on—its founder Ulukaya is donating $700 million of his wealth to refugees.
What you can do
• Read this post from my friend, Ann. It’s chock full of practical ideas of what you can do to help.
• Sign up for the mailing list at We Welcome Refugees, a recently-banded movement asking churches to take part in the crisis in tangible ways. Find ideas for asking your congregation to get involved.
• Watch—and then share—this video. It’s very useful:
• Take an Instagram and use the hashtag #wewelcomerefugees to share with your people that you care.
And last but not least…
Buy a shirt.
Designed by me, these are Next Level shirts (a sweatshop-free company) and are printed in the U.S.
Right now, part of the proceeds will go to Preemptive Love, a nonprofit organization I love that provides emergency relief for families victimized by ISIS.
Head here to order your shirts. They come in a jillion colors and styles.
Guys, let’s band together. We can roll up our sleeves and play our small parts. We can get our kids involved. Twenty years from now, we can tell our family how we responded to the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Live simply so that others may simply live.
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