How to help Refugees.

We all saw the horrid photos of the washed up refugee boys. I was particularly moved by all of these illustrations.

Yesterday I heard the plea of Pope Francis for all European Catholics to take in refugee families.

Today at Mass, our priest was shared about it again. The second reading was explicitly referring to those people who are poor.

My heart is being tugged. What can I do in my little part of the world to help those in need? My life is so comfortable, not threatened by anything dangerous. I felt this tug to open my home to someone who needed to escape war or famine, as the Pope had urged yesterday.

Normally, my mind would talk me out of it. "Oh, you don't have an extra bedroom to host someone." "You barely make enough money to cover your expenses." "They probably won't allow refugees in the US, anyway."

But, I just can't shake it this time.

Sure, I don't have an extra room, but I have a pull out couch. I was thinking about my time in Brazil and how my air mattress is nicer than many of my friend's beds. If someone is escaping death, looking for cover, my little house would be more than they could imagine. Could I give up my occasional coffee out to pay for the food of someone staying with me? Surely, I could. And my goodness, clothes? I could clothe five people with what I have.

Sometimes as an American, I think I don't have much to share because I live pretty simply, but I cannot forget that even my bare minimum is way above what others have. I began looking online for ways to help.

So far I have found this facebook group. It's called Open Homes, Open Hearts US - for Syrian Refugees. There is a petition to sign to open the cap of Syrian Refugees in the US and you can post a picture on social media with the hashtag #openheartsus and #welcomerefugees to say you would be open to having someone in your home. They are doing it in Iceland with much success--they already have 17,000 followers.

open-hearts-open-homes

Let's see what we can do if we open our hearts and our homes. Join the movement here.