You’re running car pool, helping with math homework, keeping a toddler entertained, nursing a baby. Life is busy as a mom, right? But that doesn’t mean if you’re passionate about the current refugee crisis, you can’t be involved! Here’s five ways all moms can help refugees:
So you know in general that you support refugees. But as soon as you speak out, you’re likely to be bombarded by friends and family who aren’t so sure. Arguing never helps. BUT sharing facts does! Take time to read up on the issues so that you can effectively advocate! Here’s some articles to get you started:
Call Your Congressman:
Refugee admissions are currently at a historic low, down almost 70% from last year. The State Department has put in place extreme vetting procedures, as well as cut back staff on the field that help to process refugees preparing to come to the US. All of this means that our country isn’t on track to admit the 45,000 refugees to which we’d promised to provide safe haven. Here’s something you can do about it! Contact your Congressional delegation and encourage them to exercise their power in opening the doors to the world’s most vulnerable.
You’ve got to go shopping for your household – so why not add in a few items that refugee resettlement agencies need as well? When helping newly arrived refugees set up their homes, resettlement agencies provide basic cleaning supplies, household goods and school supplies to get them started! They’ll always accept donations, and usually have a list on their website of items needed. If you’re not sure what resettlement agencies are in your area, send us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll make sure you get connected.
Go play & chat:
You’ve got kids. Many, many refugees in the US also have kids. And as a mom, you’re uniquely suited to make a special connection with another mom. Non-profits serving refugee populations often have special events for refugee families in the community. These events provide an awesome opportunity for moms to help refugees AND to experience the richness of other cultures as a family. It gives a chance for your kids to meet and play with other children from around the world, as well as to let you exchange smiles, pantomimes, bits of conversation and, well, mom talk with refugee moms. Refugee moms – especially those with young children – tend to be very isolated and lonely. Even though you may not be able to communicate fluently, your love and care can go a long way towards showing welcome to a fellow mom.
There’s plenty of ways to volunteer…but often not a lot of childcare options. Gather together with like-minded American mom friends and create a babysitting co-op! Take turns watching each others kids so you can have opportunities to serve refugee families by helping with English homework, sharing crafting skills, driving them to doctors appointments, helping deal with landlords or government forms, etc. If you’re not sure where you could volunteer, send us a message and we’ll help you track down opportunities.
These are just some of the ways moms can help refugees! Do you have ideas? Share them in the comments section below.