Refugee Girls at an IRC Rise Up

Four Ways to Help a Refugee

It only takes a little to help a lot.

We know, the refugee crisis can seem so far removed and too huge an issue to even chew on. But get this – you can help. For starters, we have a few ideas for you:

Volunteer with an International Rescue Committee office near you.

It’s shown that with community support, refugee resettlement can be wildly successful. Volunteers can help with anything from mentorship, to job seeking assistance, to working in the garden. There are IRC office all over the USA, find one near you.

 

 

• Give a little. Locally, you can pitch your buck to the IRC. If you wanna send your money abroad, donate to an organization like The White Helmets, the unarmed and neutral Syrian Civil Defense (watch the documentary about them on Netflix).

 

 

• Airbnb your spare room to a refugee. The program Refugees Welcome links you up with refugees who need a place to live, and even helps cover rent and utility costs.

 

 

Tweet and Instagram the hashtag #WhatWouldYouTake. As in, if you had to flee your home, what few items would you pack? Keep this real conversation going, even if it’s heavy. Don’t get too comfortable.

Doctor Bringing Rise Up

Meet the Doctor Bringing Health Care to the Streets

After Dr. Jim Withers pioneered 'street medicine' the world took notice.

What began as a small endeavor 1992 has blossomed into a worldwide movement that is reshaping how some folks access medical care. With a formerly homeless friend, Dr. Jim Withers packed his backpack full of medical supplies and took to the streets.

Now, through Operation Safety Net—the non-profit he founded—Withers and small groups of medical students travel through the city five nights a week to give medical assistance to homeless folks. ‘Street medicine’ is a term Dr. Withers coined himself with the philosophy that homeless folks are unlikely to seek out medical treatment when they’re sick, so we should bring treatment to them. Some treatments are minor fixes, others have led to hospitalization.

“Besides just the good that it does and the money that it saves, having street medicine in every community transforms us. We begin to see that we’re all in this together.”

Since starting out in the early 1990s, Withers estimates his organization has treated more than 1200 folks. That’s not counting the 85 organizations around the world who’ve started initiatives mirroring Operation Safety Net.

 

 

Withers believes this is not only a benefit for the individuals in need of medical care, but creates a more healthy, empathetic community as a whole.

“Everybody matters. We need to look out for the people who are the most ostracized in our communities. That will make us better people,” Withers told Nationswell.

His teams are small—no bigger than four people—so as not to invade the space of those they treat.

Speaking on the experience of his medical students, Withers told CNN, “The street classroom really ignites, or reignites, what their passion is. They feel like, ‘Yes, this is what it’s about.’ And they carry that forward. I think the lessons the homeless can teach us about finding humanity and listening to people are transcendent in all of healthcare.”

Feature photo:  CNN

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