We’re all about giving back. If you’re reading this blog you probably know that already. Giving 10% of every purchase you make is a great start, but we know that there’s more to helping our local communities than just donations. That’s why we’re introducing this monthly series, called Simple Ways to Help. Simple Ways to Help will feature activities that anyone can do to help make a difference in their community on a local, state, and national level.
In recent months, the Trump administration’s extreme “zero tolerance” policy for immigrant families has lead to the horrible reality of families being separated at the border. More than 2,000 children have been taken from their parents at the border, a number that will probably only continue to rise. The stories are horrific, and according to the U.N., a human rights violation.
This news can leave us feeling hopeless and helpless, especially those of us who may not have the money, resources, or political power to enact changes in legislature. However, all is not lost. There are several things you can do, right now, to make a difference in the lives of those families that have been separated at the border, as well as for the future of all immigrants who are attempting to flee violence in their home countries.
Volunteer at Organizations
If you live in a border state, or are fluent in Spanish, there are organizations that need your help! For example, RAICES Texas is in search of people who can donate time as translators. Those with law degrees or experience may also be able to bring valuable skills to the table. However, if your skill sets don’t fall within these categories, you can still help! Contact your local refugee center and ask them what you can do - odds are they are short-handed and would love the extra help. If you’re in a border state, contact organizations like RAICES and the Texas Civil Rights Project.
You may be asking, “I don’t have time to volunteer, how can I still help?” Donate money to these causes. Legal fees to defend these folks being separated at the border are expensive. If you have the means, donate to them directly. Donating water, toys, or other needed items may be an option as well, depending on what your local organization is looking for.
Attend a Protest
Speak up and let it be known that you don’t support these violations of human rights. Organizations like Families Belong Together are organizing marches, protests, and demonstrations to speak out against this “zero tolerance” policy. They organize events nationwide, so you can check and see if they have something in your area. If not, organize something! There are ICE detention centers within driving distance of many major American cities; get a car full of friends, make some signs, and (peacefully) protest these injustices.
In the future, we will include a blog on how to protest safely and effectively.
For those in our hometown of Louisville, Occupy ICE is currently happening and in need of occupiers, as well as donations of food, water, and other supplies.
Contact Your Elected Representatives
Contacting politicians is a key part of getting changes made toward this inhumane policy. It will take years, and thousands of dollars to reunite these children with their families - and not all of them may be reunited. The folks your tax dollars are funding ought to know about this, and that you aren’t happy about it. It’s their job to do right by their constituents, and if they aren’t, a few persistent - but civil - calls and emails can help get the point across.
If you’d like to make contacting your representatives even easier, Resist Bot will help you write letters to your congressperson and send you reminders to keep writing - with politicians, persistence is key.
Things can seem scary and hopeless right now. It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “Well, I can’t do anything about this, I’m just one person. So I shouldn’t try at all.” That’s what those enacting these horrors upon our country want; they want you to give up so that it’s easier for them to spread hatred and bigotry as the law of the land. We don’t believe in giving up, or backing down, though. We are here to fight. Our motto is ALL4ALL, which means everyone, not just those fortunate enough to have been born within the imaginary borders that make up a country. Helping a cause doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Instead, there are small, simple things you can do to help. Start with one of these things; maybe call your congressperson. Then show up at a rally. Donate to a cause. With each step, fighting for what is right becomes easier and you will begin to feel more empowered to do so.
To help do our part as a company, we are donating 10% of every purchase in July to the ACLU.