Today is Social Justice day, and no one shares my heart around this issue better than this beautifully written post by the Preemptive Love Coalition.
I love the idea of loving others in the day to day small ways, instead of waiting for big anniversaries, or big events. It's proven to be drastically important in my marriage, and I believe what they say, that kind of love is what we need to remake our world.
I have to confess, I am not great at this. Writing this book has been the first thing I feel like I've done that really matters for others in the world. I believe I serve well in small daily ways in the community around me, which is SO important, but my heart has always bled for others suffering around the world. Writing No Way but Through has been such a gift to me. I've been able to enter into some of that suffering, if only by proxy.
But I want to do more and I hope these posts, and my book, cause you to want the same. I outlined a few very practical ways to love refugees in this post.
But let's recap: The Refugee Care Collective in Portland, Oregon, as well as Salem for Refugees in Salem, OR, take donations in the form of Restart Kits, to help furnish our new neighbors homes with all they need. You can also join either organization as a mentor, providing love and mentorship to refugee families, or as a resource team member, connecting our new neighbors with resources they may not know are available. Both these organizations have many practical ways to get involved, and lots of things you could do with your families or as a small group.
You all know my love for the Preemptive Love Coalition. Though ISIS has been mostly "defeated" the PLC is still there on the ground, cleaning up the war-torn countries, providing food and medical care, long after most other military and aid organizations leave. JOIN THEM in this important work!
The International Rescue Committee is another amazing organization that's recently been brought to my attention. They are highly rated by Charity Watch. Please, please research the places and the people you send your money to! I will only ever highlight organizations that are truly giving of themselves and allocating the money they receive well. Some don't.
Back to the IRC, their website has options to give monthly, or to choose where your money should go. You can also sign up to volunteer! When was the last time your life was ruined (in the best ways) by giving of yourself to others who deeply need love and support?
Refugees are not often impoverished people living off the governments' help because they can't get jobs or support themselves. No. Refugees are people who had NO OTHER CHOICE than to flee the countries and homes they loved in order to stay alive, and to save the lives of their children. They are living in countries completely foreign to them and are often marginalized and ostracized. They have NOTHING. They need physical necessities, yes, but they also need to feel supported through the atrocities they've lived through. They need to feel loved by a global community that has so much to give. They need to have their dignity back in the form of a hug, a smile, or a roll of toilet paper.
Please read No Way but Through to get a small glimpse of what it would be like to become a refugee. The circumstances related in my book are based on actual events that have happened, and are probably still happening, in refugee camps all over the world. No country is equipped to support the mass amounts of refugees in the world today. As a global community, we need to be surrounding and giving of ourselves to this crisis.
Let World Day of Social Justice be more than just a good day to volunteer somewhere, or to give more money, let it be a catalyst to propel you into the daily, loving acts of giving to a suffering world.