Activist and devout Catholic Dorothy Day wrote, “People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spreads in all directions.” At Lutheran Services of Georgia, we believe that the smallest pebble, the simplest of acts, has the potential to do great good in the world. To help you get started casting pebbles, here’s a list of small actions you can take to support refugees and immigrants throughout Georgia.
1) Tell your story! Share why you serve refugees by emailing Abi Koning at email@example.com.
2) Go to dinner! Eat at restaurants connected to refugee communities. Some of our favorites in Clarkston are Kathmandu, Shewit Eritrean, and Halal Pizza. In Savannah, local restaurants such as Fire Street Food, Ele, Chive Sea Bar, and Mirage were established by former refugees.
3) Raise your Voice! Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), our national affiliate, advocates for immigrants and refugees. Visit their action center at http://lirs.org/action-center for simple ways you can raise your voice.
4) Get informed! Watch a movie or read a book about refugees. We recommend: Outcasts United, the story of a refugee soccer team in Clarkston; a PBS America by the Numbers special featuring Clarkston; and Dave Eggers’ What is the What, a fictional book based on the life of a Sudanese Lost Boy who was resettled in Atlanta.
5) Donate to the Clothing Closet! LSG’s Atlanta and Savannah offices operate clothing closets for new refugee arrivals and are constantly in need of clothing and household items.
6) Volunteer with LSG! LSG’s Refugee and Immigration Services department has a number of volunteer opportunities, including tutoring refugees, setting up apartments, visiting immigrants in detention, and more.
7) Learn a Few Words in a Second Language! In our Extended Cultural Orientation classes for newly arrived refugees, there are usually four to six languages spoken. Refugees are trying hard to learn English—why not learn a few words in their languages?
8) Get Your Church Involved! LSG is supported by congregations throughout Georgia. Host an LSG Sunday, celebrate Refugee Sunday, collect donations, or sponsor a refugee family.
9) Celebrate World Refugee Day! Each year on June 20, the United Nations and organizations around the world celebrate World Refugee Day. Mark your calendars and join the celebration! Click here to learn more about World Refugee Day in Georgia.
10) Practice Peace! Conflict is one of the main reasons refugees flee their homes. Seek out ways to promote peace and resolve conflict in your home and in your community.
11) Make a House a Home! Help LSG transform apartments into homes for newly arrived refugees. Donate gently used furniture, household supplies, towels, or bedding to provide refugees with a fully furnished home.
12) Open Your Doors! Sharing a meal brings people together. Invite a refugee family to join you for dinner in your home.
13) Attend LSG’s Breaking Bread and Building Bridges Potluck Dinner on Saturday, June 21! This potluck dinner will bring together church and community members, volunteers, and refugees to share a meal in celebration of World Refugee Day and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s 75th Anniversary! Click here to RSVP or here for a flyer. Please bring a dish to feed four to six people.
For more information on how you can help refugees and immigrants in your area, contact Melanie Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta) or Deidre Harrison at email@example.com (Savannah). To download and share this list, click here.
Our Small Actions were inspired by the Simple Acts & Counterpoints Arts Company. Visit www.counterpointsarts.org.ukto learn more.