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How to support refugees in Salt Lake City

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the United States have a long history of warmly welcoming populations seeking refuge from persecution, crisis or conflict. Refugees arriving in the United States rebuild their lives with support from local communities who generously give their time and resources. Families arriving in Salt Lake City are greeted by IRC staff and volunteers the moment they step off the plane, who get to work helping our newest community members positively integrate to life in Utah.

In the years ahead, we anticipate an incredible increase to our work as federal policy shifts to responsibly rebuild refugee resettlement across the United States. Through energizing our community in support of newly resettled refugees, the IRC helps newly arrived families access and leverage resources as they work to start anew.

COVID-19 Update:

The IRC in Salt Lake City is doing our part to protect community members from COVID-19 in Salt Lake County. Our office is open for limited operations by appointment only and taking care to follow the guidelines from local and national health officials. Many events and opportunities to engage have shifted to virtual format, and limited volunteer activities and donation drop-offs are taking place under strict safety protocols. We are prioritizing the health and safety of our staff and the families we serve. Learn more about our response to the pandemic here.

What can you do to help?

Give.

Financial support of our programs helps us provide opportunities for refugees to build their foundations in the U.S.Your investment of support ensures robust services and programs continue and direct assistance -- like emergency housing funds -- are available when needed most.

  • Your generous gift can be made online. 
  • Become a monthly sustainer to continue your support throughout the year.
  • Start a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe Charity. Invite family, friends, coworkers and others in your network to join you in supporting refugees.
  • Let your creativity shine and plan your own DIY Fundraising event. Ideas for hosting a DIY fundraising event include a neighborhood bake sale, directing birthday or anniversary gifts to your fundraiser, running a marathon in support of the IRC in Salt Lake City and more.
  • Check to see if your employer offers a workplace giving match program. Many companies will match their employees' donations or even make donations to match employees' volunteer hours. 
  • Contact us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org with any giving-related questions.

Volunteer.

Each program at the IRC in Salt Lake City benefits from the generous efforts of volunteers who give their time to support newly arrived refugees and increase program capacity. 

  • Our volunteer needs change throughout the year, but you can start the volunteer process at any time. Learn more about our current volunteer needs and next steps for becoming a volunteer: Start here.
  • Looking to fulfill an internship with a humanitarian organization? Look no further. Interested applicants can learn more about our unpaid internships.
  • Do you have a group searching for a service project? Learn more about our group volunteering opportunities here.
  • Are you a professional hoping to apply your skills to support newly arrived refugees? Do you have other ideas for volunteer engagement? Contact our volunteer coordinator at VolunteerSLC [at] Rescue.org.

Gather supplies.

When refugee families receive much-needed donated supplies, they can focus on what matters most: enrolling their kids in school, securing employment, learning more about life in the U.S. and so much more. Gather basic supplies for newly arrived families to support their efforts to positively integrate into their new community.

Advocate.

One important way you can help is by contacting your elected official with a compassionate message encouraging them to continue to make Utah a hospitable place for all refugees. A call or email to your elected official only takes a few minutes but makes an immediate impact.

The IRC in SLC works closely with legislators and community partners to ensure refugees are represented in Utah’s policy discussions; all local action alerts will be directly tied to policies that impact refugees in your neighborhood.

  • Sign up to receive local and national action alerts by texting RESCUE to 40649.
  • Learn more about current initiatives by visiting Rescue.org/TakeAction

Partner.

The IRC in Salt Lake City provides a variety of opportunities for local and national organizations to engage with our work to support the people we serve. Our Principles of Partner Engagement guide our corporate and community partnership opportunities and reflect the values we uphold to serve refugees and New Americans in Utah.

  • Learn more about our partner engagement opportunities and how to get involved with your organization.
  • Contact us at Partnership.SLC [at] Rescue.org for questions.

Raise awareness.

You can learn more about refugee resettlement to spread awareness of refugees and the IRC's efforts to create a welcoming community for everyone.

  • SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org (Contact us) to schedule a presentation to learn more about refugee resettlement and the work of the IRC. 
  • Request a speaker for your next event from our local Speakers Bureau to learn more about refugees and our organization.
  • Learn about the refugee resettlement process and share IRC materials with members of your community.
  • Share facts, not myths, about refugees. Here are seven common myths debunked.
  • The U.N. Refugee Agency provides Figures at a Glance. Did you know only 107,800 refugees were resettled in 2019 out of 79.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world? Learn more.

Stay Informed.

We share exciting news throughout the week and month. Be the first to receive our updates by:

Keep up with all of our programs in Salt Lake City, including:

For general inquiries, kindly contact us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org or call 801.328.1091.