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10 Ways to Help Refugees & Immigrants in Washington

The Biswa family arrived in Washington after living nearly 25 years as refugees. Birkha Biswa (left) hopes for his daughters: "To be well-educated, to have a decent job, and to not face any misery."

Photo: Amos Kallen/IRC

Support from community members and your dedication to the IRC's mission is critical to our work. For more than 40 years, the IRC in Seattle has helped thousands of refugees, immigrants, and survivors of human trafficking build their lives in Washington state. Please help us continue these efforts, and join us as we endeavor to make refugees and immigrants welcome for another 40 years.

10 ways to take action today:

Donate  Make a one-time or monthly tax-deductible gift via our website. Or, launch your own fundraising page via Crowdrise. Your contributions directly support local IRC programs, helping refugees, immigrants, and survivors or trafficking who are rebuilding their lives our community. 

Participate  Join IRC at community events throughout the year, such as Winter Welcome Festival, World Refugee Day - ARTvocacy, and the Rebuilding Lives Annual Dinner. Events raise critical resources to support newcomers and visibly reassure refugee families that Washington welcomes them. Sign up for Winter Welcome and help us welcome families to our community this holiday season!

Advocate  Call on policy makers to support refugees and resettlement. Please email, call, or write your elected officials with a message of support today. Sign up for the IRC in Seattle's advocacy email list to receive quarterly updates on policy news and ways to take action locally.

Spread the Word  Stay connected via our newsletter and Facebook, and ask others to do the same! #RefugeesWelcome 

Educate  With knowledge of refugee issues, you can help dispel misunderstanding about refugees within your own community by engaging in conversation and posting on social media or anywhere you see an opportunity to give accurate information. Resources to get you started include:

Assemble a Donation Drive  Team up with friends, family, or colleagues to collect essential items - household goods, kitchenware, school supplies, job readiness kits, or gift cards - for newly-arrived families. Click here for current donation needs and guidelines, or Seattle [at] Rescue.org (email us) with questions.

Volunteer  Volunteers and interns are integral to the IRC's work in Seattle. Visit our volunteer page to learn about the different ways to get involved. VolunteerSEA [at] Rescue.org (subject: On-Call%20Volunteer%20list) (Email us) to join our "on-call" volunteer team or attend a Volunteer Orientation to join as a long-term volunteer or intern. 

Employ Newcomers  The IRC’s economic empowerment program helps newcomers prepare for Seattle’s job market and work toward their career goals in the U.S. Seattle [at] Rescue.org (subject: employment%20opportunities%20for%20refugees) (Contact the IRC) if interested in offering employment or professional development opportunities to newcomers.

Open Your Home   The IRC and Airbnb are working together to welcome refugees to the Seattle area -- and we would love for you to join us! Open Homes lets you share your extra space on a temporary basis with refugee families and survivors of trafficking as they transition into their new home and community. 

Connect IRC to Affordable Housing Options  Housing stability is critical to the health and wellness of all families. We greatly appreciate information on, or connections to, long-term affordable housing options for IRC clients.

To learn more about any of these opportunities, Seattle [at] Rescue.org (email us) or call 206-623-2105