How to Find Refugees and Refugee Organizations You Can Serve

The Commandment to Take In Strangers Also Applies to Modern Day Refugees

Refugees in Greece
:SKALA SIKAMINIAS, GREECE - OCTOBER 01: Refugees arrive on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on an inflatable boat on October 1, 2015 near village of Skala Sikaminias, Greece. Despite bad weather due to the upcoming Autumn, migrants and refugees are risking their lives in search of a better one in the European Union. Officals have warned that a rise in migrant deaths is expected as weather conditions gradually worsen. Matej Divizna / Contributor / Getty Images News / Getty Images Europe

In her March, 2016, General Women's Meeting address, Relief Society General President Linda K. Burton stressed the need for women in the Church to serve refugees in our local communities. In order to do this, you may need the resources and information below.

Find Refugees and Organizations Through These Online Tools

Enter your location in this international map to find where you can assist refugees in your area.

This is a reliable resource. The map is also recommended on the official site for President Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.

The Church does provide a list of reputable organizations it already partners with in assisting refugees. The list could help you in selecting agencies to work through wherever you live in the world:

If you live in the United States, access this map of the United States and select your state to find resources and contact information to assist refugees. This website is provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) located in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a cabinet level department in the federal government.

Information resources on how to assimilate into this country, learn English, find a job or just navigate the requirements for citizenship can all be found on the cross-agency portal Welcome to USA.gov.

Find Church Guidance on Serving Refugees

An initial letter from the First Presidency concerning refugees was issued October 27, 2015.

Within days of Sister Burton's address, the Church announced and unveiled a new website called I Was a Stranger (see iwasastranger.lds.org) to encourage assisting refugees and providing resources to help do so. The name for this website comes from Jesus Christ's classic Sermon on the Mount:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in...

This new website augments the official instruction the Church has issued, which includes the following you can click on and download automatically:

The new website also gives examples of things people can do to assist refugees and how they can do them.

Also on the website are the touching videos that remind us of how LDS members have been refugees in the past, as well as a current example of how one refugee sister was assisted by and LDS woman:

The Mormon Channel provides a discussion on 40 different ways to help refugees in your local community.

Donate to Refugees and Refugee Causes Through the Church

The Church provides relief and services to refugees through LDS Philanthropies via the Humanitarian Aid Fund. You can donate online vis the official website.

However, remember that the Church has challenged us to assist refugees in our communities. To do so, we must volunteer our time and resources locally. Donating to the Humanitarian Aid Fund does not fulfill our local responsibilities.

Use the Special Hashtags and Email

The Church has created a special hashtag to use in posting our thoughts and experiences online. Sisters are also encouraged to send their stories of serving refugees in their community to a special email address the Church has set up:

  • #IWasAStranger
  • iwasastranger@ldschurch.org

The United States of America government also has a special hashtag we can use:

  • #AidRefugees (This hashtag can be used in addition to the special church hashtag.)

Get Inspired to Serve

There are additional resources here on LDS.About.com that can help you learn how to serve and serve more effectively:

Remember, service should help build self-reliance in others, because self-reliance is the ultimate freedom!