The following organizations can direct you toward the most effective efforts to support refugee care in the greater Austin community. Regardless of your time or financial limitations, there is always a way to help neighbors feel more at home.
Imagine needing to leave your home and everything you've ever known - bringing your family to a new country without the support of family and surrounded by people speaking a language you don't yet know. Everything would likely be overwhelming - from figuring out how you would learn to drive and pay your rent to mailing a letter and counting money for the simplest transaction. From the big things to the little life hacks, your new life could be made easier with help from a local who knows the ropes. So what do refugees need to thrive in our communities?
Your time. Most refugees will tell you they’ve never been invited into a local resident’s home. You can change that. Look for refugees in schools, churches, community centers and the workplace. Be bold. Extend a hand and make a connection that can lead to friendship. We all need friendships to feel at home.
Your expertise. Chances are you know something that a refugee wants to learn. Want to teach someone English? How to drive? Where to find a job? Enjoy discussing culture, food, faith? Refugees need your expertise on all matters of living in America. Volunteer your time and talents.
Your extra cash. Starting over in a new country means starting from scratch for most refugees. Don’t have time to spare, but want to help? Some of the organizations listed below can turn your dollar donation into safe and comfortable living conditions, cultural courses, and job placement for refugees. Others can help you learn more and connect to different local and national initiatives.