Photo: telegraph.co.uk; aljazeera.com
Throughout the world, there are countries wracked by war, poverty and chaos. Innocent people are caught up in terrible situations and are in desperate need of help. Many seek refuge in safer countries, and these refugees often don’t have homes, money or supplies. But there are many ways that people can help, including you. There are many practical and easy things for people to do that would make a huge difference in a refugee’s life. Right here is a list of things you can do with ease to aid those in need.
A popular way to support refugees is to donate to one of the dozens of organizations and charities set up to provide aid to them. A popular non-governmental organization is the International Rescue Committee, which sets up camps for refugees with nowhere to go. The International Red Cross and Save The Children are also groups that work to provide medical supplies and assistance to refugees all over the world. There are so many different groups to donate to, and all of the donations go straight into helping refugees. All you have to do is go to their websites, or you can mail money directly to their headquarters.
Many refugees are forced to leave all of their personal belongings in the place they had to leave, and often have little to nothing besides the clothes on their back. That’s why using your craft skills to create something personal and meaningful would mean the world to a refugee. Knitting, sewing, weaving, those are all different things you can do to make something to brighten up someone’s day. Making a scarf, or a blanket, or even a stuffed animal could give them something of their own that they could use and cherish.
If you aren’t a crafty person, you can collect old things that could be useful. Old clothes, coats and shoes are all things that many refugee are desperately in need of. Many refugees in Europe have come from very warm climates and are unprepared from the bitter winters in most European countries. You can gather old clothing from you family, neighbors and friends, then take it to the collection spots that various organizations have set up. CalAid, Calais Action and Calais Refugee Solidarity Group are some groups that pick up collected materials to send to refugees.
If you don’t have a lot of resources, spending time volunteering at different organizations who work on helping refugees would be a great help. The International Rescue Committee is a great organization to work with. Volunteers welcome and work with refugees hands on, helping them find jobs and adjust to a new life style. Volunteers can also teach English and introduce them to our American culture. Volunteers are important to helping transition refugees from a terrible situation to a better one in a foreign and, often scary, new country.
Refugees usually don’t have a place to stay when they arrive in a new country, and what better way to help them than by letting them into your own home. There are many charities that can help set up a refugee to live in a spare room you have. Refugees have left everything they knew behind them, and bringing them into your house and making them feel welcome would mean a lot to them. Petitions are another great way to give support to refugees. Putting your name on a petition to allow more refugees into the country is a way to help get them into a safe place where they can be safe.
You can easily do something today to help out a refugee, and there are countless ways to do so. Helping is very easy and something anyone can do, and something that would make a huge difference in someone’s life. Now is the perfect time for you to contribute to the movement to help refugees, so get started today.
By Paris Shewfelt