Creating communities of love and welcome requires all of us. We believe that we each have a part to play and as Susan Sperry reflects in last week’s blog, we all can lead from where we are. For many of us, leading from where we are can feel intimidating and sometimes, we get stuck. If you’re like me, seeing a few examples can inspire you to take the next step. Here are 5 simple ways that you can lead in your community.
Advocate for Refugees and Other Immigrants
From where you are, you can lead through advocacy efforts with World Relief. From pushing for pathways to citizenship for Afghans and Ukrainians to resourcing resettlement efforts as a whole, your voice can create change. In addition to signing on, you can share these efforts with friends, family, or on your social media accounts.
Gather People to Gather Items
Inviting a group of people you know to collect items that help support a newly arrived family is a simple and effective way to lead from where you are. Maybe this is a small group from church, a team from work, or families in your neighborhood. You can find lists of needed items on our website and gather people and items at the same time!
Lead a Volunteer Team
Bringing people together to form a Good Neighbor Team or a HOME team is another way to lead. Take a few minutes to look at the circles you are in. Do you know other people interested in supporting a newly arrived family? Send them a text or make a phone call to see if they want to journey with you to extend welcome. Learn more about serving as a team on our volunteer page.
Lead a Book Club
Recommend a book to your book club around refugee and immigrant issues. Not in a book club? Consider starting one! Here are a few recommendations AND a brand-new book that is being released this month
- Welcoming the Stranger by Matthew Soerens & Jenny Yang
- Seeking Refuge by Stephen Bauman, Matthew Soerens, & Dr. Issam Smeir
- Inalienable by Eric Costanzo, Daniel Yang, & Matthew Soerens
If you are in Chicagoland, join us in person for the official book launch event with the authors on May 31st at 7:00pm.
Start a Facebook Fundraiser
Facebook fundraisers are quick and easy to set up. They are a simple way to share with others that you care about supporting immigrants and refugees. And you can invite others to join you in providing the services offered through World Relief. Follow the steps at the link above and select World Relief – to make sure the donation is supporting the work in Chicagoland, email Nathan White to ensure the correct designation.
There are so many opportunities for each of us to lead where we are. Hopefully, this short list spurs in your imagination many other ways to lead. Together, we can lead from where we are to create lasting change.
Stories of leading:
Partner Spotlight: Greg & Olivia Evans on “Who is my neighbor?” (worldrelief.org)
A Model for Corporate Partnership: GForce Life Sciences – World Relief
The Volunteer and Refugee Friendship Helping Both Friends Succeed (worldrelief.org)
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