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Employee-led initiatives making an impact

Last updated 
School and art supplies were shared with hundreds of newcomer youth. Photo: IRC

The Welcoming Refugees Alliance at Starbucks has organized donation drives, educational opportunities, and volunteer projects to help newcomers in our community. A partner-led initiative, this dedicated group of volunteers have has an incredible source of support for the IRC's local programs. Here are examples of the ways we've partnered together over the past year, perhaps serving as inspiration for your own workplace! 

A team of volunteers helped organize games and activities at the IRC's annual Winter Welcome celebration, kicking off the new year in 2020. Individual volunteers also participate as virtual tutors, working with newcomer youth to meet academic goals and gain confidence. In March, as school building closed and students transitioned to learning from home, the WRA organized a donation drive and contributed over $1,000 in school and art supplies for newcomer students. Members of the WRA and other Starbucks partners also hosted a career panel for high school students, sharing their careers and experiences in the science, math, engineering, and technology fields. The WRA has also been active in raising awareness about refugee issues, including hosting a talk about the intersection between climate change, forced migration, and other humanitarian crises.

Organizing events, raising awareness, volunteering, and fundraising are all impactful ways to support the IRC's programs and the members of WRA have come together to do it all. Thank you to the members of the Welcoming Refugees Alliance for their hard work and dedication to making Washington a welcoming home for newcomers!

If you & your colleagues are interested in working together to welcome newcomers, consider:

VolunteerSEA [at] rescue.org (subject: Organize%20a%20drive!) (Organizing a food or supply drive)

Sharing individual volunteer opportunities with colleagues

Volunteering as a group

Attending a virtual info session together

Creating a DIY Fundraiser