Spread the word
Refugee issues often become political issues. For this reason it is tremendously important that those with strong voices and networks speak out on behalf of the voiceless. There are many ways to advocate including sharing accurate information with friends and loved ones, writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers, contacting legislators, and signing petitions.
To stay on top of the issues, you can follow local, national, and international agencies that serve and advocate for refugees. International organizations like the UN Refugee Agency, the International Rescue Committee, HIAS, and the Jesuit Refugee Service are just a few examples of international organizations that support refugees. Across Tennessee, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition works to advocate and lobby for refugees. Follow your local refugee serving agencies to find out when they need your voice or your vote.
To decide to which organization you should give, consider what you want your dollars to achieve, then seek out an organization that works toward those goals. You can check the financial statements of non-profit organizations on websites such as Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and Give.org . You might also review annual reports as you make your choice. You can find a list of organizations receiving TOR funding on Meet Our Partners page; keep in mind that while they receive funding from TOR, those funds are not intended to cover all the organization’s expenses.
Give new or gently used items to a refugee serving organization, or organize a group of friends or coworkers to prepare a welcome kit. Most organizations have lists of needed items on their websites or readily available with a phone call or email. When considering what to give, think about the things in your home you or your children use everyday: furniture items for every room in the home, kitchen essentials, bed and bath textiles, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and for the little ones – school supplies, toys, and baby necessities.