Here at LIRS we look forward to hearing about amazing stories of empowerment for refugees, taking action, and community building. This next story has all that and granola!
We are pleased to share this guest blog post by Anne Dombrofski, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Beautiful Day, a Rhode Island based non-profit that builds on-ramps to employment for newly arrived refugees.
We live in a world where war and oppression are intensely real. More people are now displaced from their homes than at any time since World War II. We can try to ignore the pictures we see on the news, put our head in the sand—after all, what can we do? But thinking this way can make us disconnected and hard-hearted.
And empathizing isn’t always better. Just feeling someone’s pain doesn’t help solve their problems. Thankfully, these are not our only two options because refugees don’t only live on the other side of the world. They are neighbors. They are co-workers. Some are our friends. Over 50,000 resettle throughout our country every year—which means every one of us has an opportunity to get involved.
Beautiful Day has gotten involved by trying to do something about one of the biggest problems refugees face when they resettle: finding a job. To find a job people needs job skills, so we’ve set up a small business where every employee is a refugee and every position is designed to provide critical job skills.
Take Action to Raise Awareness
We’re fortunate that we have a delicious and nourishing mechanism for doing this: granola. Our granola serves a dual purpose. It is a job-training vehicle for refugees and also an awareness-raising opportunity, since it can be shipped anywhere. You can start by signing up for our e-news yourself and sharing with others. Then, help us spread the word far and wide, in the following ways:
- Visit our website
- Buy some granola and share it with your friends
- Like us on Facebook, and invite others to do the same.
We also believe that welcoming refugees is not only about providing services, although these are certainly critical. At its core, it’s about forming relationships, which build and strengthen our communities. And we feel strongly about the need to empower faith communities to do this.
With this in mind, we’ve launched our “Give Your Name, Get a Bar” kit that faith communities can use to activate their networks and raise awareness about refugee newcomers. Signing up for our e-news gets each person a free granola bar, which introduces them to refugees and invites them to support local resettlement. If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact Anne Dombrofski and we’ll send a kit to your congregation.
Help form a community of neighbors who create a beautiful day: when refugees gain the ability – some for the first time – to support themselves and their families, as they become our newest Americans.
I encourage you to visit the Beautiful Day website, where you can learn about their mission, impact, and delicious granola. Sign-up for their Beautiful Day monthly e-newsletter. You’ll receive a special granola coupon just for joining.