My husband and I attempted to attend World Relief DuPage/Aurora's "Refugee and Immigration Advocacy Night" at Compass Church in Wheaton this evening, but couldn't find a parking spot. After circling the building for 15 minutes, we decided to turn around and go home knowing we could get the full scoop of the event from Twitter and Bloomingdale Church friends who made it inside. Then I decided to write a blog post about how to help.
Ever since President Trump signed his executive order that suspended the Refugee Resettlement Program for 120 days, cut the United States' current commitment to refugee arrivals by over half, and banned Syrian refugee arrivals for an indefinite period of time, the media has gone crazy with coverage. So have volunteer and nonprofit organizations--in a good way. Tonight is proof: waves of people turned out to go to a World Relief event at a church in Wheaton, IL, to learn more about how they can help some of the world's most vulnerable people in real-time. I look forward to hearing a summary of the event, but until then, I will list the top three ways I've found to help refugees in DuPage County, IL, based on a brief internet search:
- Pray. World Relief has a great daily prayer list on their website at this link. Also, this prayer list posted on World Relief's Twitter page today is humbling.
- Do something. God will lead you to help with something after praying for 10 seconds or maybe 10 years. Either way, World Relief will likely provide numerous ways for individuals to help for years to come: right now, you can donate furniture, vehicles, volunteer your time as one of the following: a Friendship Partner, Health Advocate, Collection Project Coordinator, Airport Pick-Up Assistant, Apartment Set-Up Assistant, Youth Club Volunteer Enrollment Assistant, Speakers Bureau Member, Immigration Legal Services Citizenship Assistant, Citizenship Classroom Aide, Citizenship Tutor, ESL Classroom Aide, ESL In-Home Tutor, ESL Early Childhood Aide, and more; or, if you are a lawyer, provide legal help.
- Get your church involved. According to their website, World Relief DuPage/Aurora currently engages with over 100 churches in ministry to immigrants, and yours could be the next one. You can start a prayer group based on the prayer lists on their website, show educational videos, take an offering, donate items for new refugee families, and more--all things listed on World Relief's website.
- Give your money away. Both of the points above take time--precious time, which some people say, "is money." This third point is purely financial: organizations doing great work need money to keep on keepin' on. Here's a link to give to World Relief DuPage/Aurora.
- Listen. God is speaking, even amid this chaos. Open the Bible and hear what He has to say!
From a policy standpoint, World Relief also lists three ways to advocate for refugees given the current political climate (these points apply specifically to DuPage County): 1) Sign a petition, 2) Contact elected officials, and 3) Use social media to raise awareness.
This blog post is my way of raising awareness--the featured image at the top of this post was reason enough for me to write my thoughts down. Every person on that list of detained refugees is one of God's miracles.
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