A week ago, I posted some things in response to a piece of the current political mess that struck a chord deep within me.
I welcomed the criticism. I took a deep breath every time someone told me to stop thinking with my feelings or called me a snowflake. I responded (in most cases). I was written off. I was challenged. Conversations were plenty and thankfully, most of them were really great even if we didn’t see eye to eye.
When it comes to being an activist, I usually feel as if I’m in a weird predicament being so far away from home. But I refuse to believe that being away means I don’t have a role to play. I’ve been writing to my representatives as often as I can. I’ve made donations to organizations supporting those who are being marginalized by this administration.
(Which, hey world, keep at it. Good things are happening because of you).
And I’ve been using social media for the greatest good (or at least trying to do so). Thanks to you guys, friends and strangers alike, I was able to create a list of at least 2 places in each state that do some sort of work to support immigrants and refugees in the community.
I guess I felt like the least I could do from this side of the globe was to take *some* of the work out of it for you at home by helping you find a place to start investing in your communities in new ways.
I think fear makes strangers of people who ought to be friends…and there’s never been a more vital time to stand against that fear. Having worked in a nonprofit realm I’ve also learned there are times that all the donations in the world pale in comparison to an army of volunteers.
Hit Control+F / Command+F to search for your state. Each organization is linked to a contact or volunteer page. Make a phone call. Send an email. Go meet some new friends. Do some good and find some light in a world that seems to be drenched in darkness.
And again, my same plea from last time stands:
Don’t choose fear. Don’t let fear be chosen for you.
A Crowd-Sourced List of Ways To Support Immigrants and Refugees in Your State
**At time of writing, quite a few of the volunteer programs linked have stopped taking new volunteer applications until the refugee program has been reinstated fully. Regardless, if you see something that strikes a chord in you, submit an application and get in touch with them. There are so many ways to get to know the world outside your doorstep. Staying inside your bubble isn’t one of them.
Also, if there’s an organization you know of that’s not listed – leave a comment or send me an email at chelseyineedtotalk (at) gmail with the subject “Immigrants/Refugees in STATE”**
Catholic Social Services (Mobile)
Asha Kiran (Huntsville)
The Ministry Center at Green Springs (Birmingham)
Boat People SOS (Bayou La Batre)
Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Greater Birmingham Ministries
The Literacy Council of Central Alabama
Refugee Focus (Phoenix, Tuscon)
International Rescue Committee (Phoenix, Tuscon)
Arizona Immigrant and Refugee Services
Catholic Charities Arizona
Arizona Allnation Refugee Resource Center
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (Phoenix)
Tuscon Refugee Ministry
Life Bridge (Phoenix)
The Young Center (Phoenix)
World Relief (Modesto, Sacramento, Garden Grove)
Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (LA)
Opening Doors (Sacramento)
Jewish Family Services (San Diego, Silicon Valley, Berkeley, San Francisco)
International Institute of Los Angeles
Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services
International Rescue Committee (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Turlock)
The Young Center (LA)
Tiyya (Santa Ana)
Building Skills Partnerships
World Relief – Atlanta
New American Pathways
Refuge Coffee Co (go get a cup of coffee)!
Friends of Refugees
Lutheran Services of Georgia
Athens Regional Library System ESL Program
Interfaith Works Center for New Americans (Syracuse)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (NYC)
Journey’s End Refugee Services (Buffalo)
Church World Service (Poughskeepie)
Catholic Family Center (Rochester)
Saint’s Place (Pittsford)
Mary’s Place (Rochester)
Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (Utica)
Jewish Family Services (Buffalo)
The Young Center (NYC)
World Relief (High Point, Durham)
Church World Service (Durham)
Lutheran Services Carolinas
Interfaith Refugee Ministry (New Bern/Wilmington)
Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency (Charlotte)
World Relief (Columbus, Akron)
Community Refugee and Immigration Services (Columbus)
US Together (Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo)
Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland
Lutheran Services of the National Capital Area
Hogar Immigrant Services
English as a Second Language and Immigrant Ministries
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley
World Relief (Tri-Cities, Spokane, Seattle/Kent)
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
Refugee Resettlement Office
Pierce County Library
Literacy Volunteers of the Eastern Panhandle