I want to tell you about the big picture, about the 43 million refugees, internally displaced and stateless persons. 43 million. The refugee crises are multiplying, becoming more unpredictable and harder to resolve. One camp has more people living in it than Raleigh does (more pictures of Dadaab, by Brendan Bannon).
I want you to be concerned. I want you to be shocked, to be heart broken, to be, most simply, motivated to make a difference. And to tell everyone you know, and even those you don't know, about it. But I need to write about something much more mundane, about something right here, in Durham. The weather, in fact. In case you haven't noticed, it's getting cold out there (this lovely photo is from The Carolina Wandering).
I always say "refugees come over with what they can carry" and joke that they can't come with couches or beds. It's true. They don't come with blankets either. Or with coats. We need you to help refugees stay warm this winter. We have no blankets, comforters, or winter coats in our warehouse. Please donate: coats, blankets, comforters, space heaters (please, SAFE ones, safe for families with little kids and who aren't used to living with electricity), socks, hats, scarves, and gloves. Donations, which are tax deductible, can be dropped off at our office (801 Gilbert St. #209) during regular business hours. Email JSheppard@wr.org for more information. Please spread the word, and while you share the need, let them know about the 43 million worldwide, the nearly 500,000 in Dadaab, and the individuals and families coming to Durham every month. UPDATE: you can download a flyer to help you spread the word.