A Reader Wants to Help Refugees

A Reader Wants to Help Refugees December 16, 2015

She writes:

I’ve been following the news about the refugee crisis, and have been really disheartened by the amount of fear and hate I’ve been seeing from so many Christians towards them since the attack on Paris. Even some of my pro-life friends in college, who are a lot better people than me and who I know really love Christ, are falling into it. It’s causing me a lot of distress. I can’t even go on to Facebook anymore because I just end up sick when I see another post about stopping the refugees.

I want to do something to help fight all the darkness I’m seeing, but I don’t know how. So I thought I’d ask if maybe you or your readers know of some charities or organizations that are doing something to help the refugees that I can volunteer with? I don’t have much money to give (college…you know) but I do have time.

I’m just tired of doing nothing. I keep coming back to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 and I’m afraid right now I’m with the goats, not the sheep. I don’t want to stay that way.

Anyways, do you have any suggestions or advice for how a college student like me can help out?

I think the best starting place is to follow the pope’s recommendation that each parish take in one family. At my parish, Blessed Sacrament in Seattle, the Knights of Columbus are going to approach the parish leadership and see what we as a parish can do to help a family find housing and get integrated in to the local community. I don’t see why any other parish can’t do the same. I’d start there.

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  • ivan_the_mad

    Yes! Their diocesan branch of Catholic Charities almost certainly has an office of migration and refugee services. This office provides a diversity of services and thus of opportunities to serve.

  • ctdkite

    Actually, Mark, there are reasons why not every parish can do the same. The refugee resettlement process is very regulated. After the refugees are vetted and approved for admission to the U.S., the federal government will assign refugees to be resettled by certain resettlement agencies or the state’s resettlement coordinator (it depends on the state.) The federal government decides not only what resettlement agency will take them but also what city will receive them. It is very possible that certain cities with parishes that want to help will have no refugees. (I live in one of those areas.)

    To help, parishes will have to contact their state’s refugee resettlement agency and see what options are available. In many areas, Catholic Charities is a resettlement agency, but not always.

    The reader could also contact her congressional representatives and urge them not to enact legislation that would unduly restrict the resettlement of refugees.

  • Mark Martinson

    Isis says that want to send agents to the West. They did it in France. As San Bernadino shows, there is no way to screen them. I would oppose Islamic immigration for the time being.

    • ctdkite

      The question was about refugees. The perpetrators in San Bernardino were not refugees.

      • Mark Martinson

        How do you know that the people we let in are refugees? ISIS has a passport printing machine. Say a Muhammadan husband and wife who are committed to violent Jihad ask for refugee status. How do we know they are telling the truth? You can’t screen these people as Paris and San Bernadino shows.