Today is World Refugee Day. The United Nations (U.N.) designated World Refugee Day as a day to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. On World Refugee Day, refugee supporters also use this day an opportunity to celebrate the great contributions that refugees bring to our nation and our communities.
The United States has a proud tradition of welcoming those who been forced from their home due to violence, war and persecution. According to the State Department website, “the U.S. refugee resettlement program reflects the United States’ highest values and aspirations to compassion, generosity and leadership. Since 1975, Americans have welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. Refugees have built new lives, homes and communities in towns and cities in all 50 states.”
This year, the Trump administration set the Refugee Admission Ceiling at 45,000, the lowest on record. And nine months into the fiscal year, only 15,000 have been admitted so far, making it extremely unlikely that we will reach anywhere near that number by the end of September.
What can you do to help?
For more than 30 years, LSG has been welcoming and walking alongside refugee families, and we are committed to continuing this important work. As refugee admissions have slowed, our need for in kind donations of furniture, clothing and household goods has slowed as well. However, our need for financial support is greater than ever. Please consider donating to our refugee program, so we can continue to help the refugees who have already been resettled in Atlanta and Savannah and be fully prepared to continue resettling families as they arrive. Click here to donate and choose the fund “refugee services.”
Tell your elected officials that your community welcomes refugees and that you support raising the refugee admission ceiling and increasing the number of refugees entering the U.S. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives by phone or written letter.
Support the refugees that are already in our community. Show refugees that they are welcome here and that they have a community ready to support them. Attend or organize events in your community to stand with refugees. This Saturday there are two events being held in honor of World Refugee Day.
- A World Refugee Day celebration hosted by the Coalition of Refugee Services Agencies (CRSA), which LSG is a member of, and Refuge Coffee Co., from 10-Noon in Clarkston. Click for more info.
- WRD 2018: Resistance, Resilience, & Celebration from 2-5 p.m. at Clarkston United Methodist Church. Click here for more info.
In addition, patronize refugee businesses. Here is a list of refugee owned and operated restaurants and stores.
Educate yourself and others. Know the facts about refugee resettlement and share them with others. The Refugee Council USA is a great resource of information, facts and figures on refugees.
Last year, the Refugee Council developed a series of videos and a social media campaign – Refugees Love America – to combat anti-refugee sentiment and open up important public dialogue.
These videos are great for sharing on email/facebook/twitter. Or create your own content – share stories of your personal experience with refugees – and use #refugeeswelcome in your posts.
Thank you so much for standing with refugees. We continue to be encouraged and inspired by our supporters!