Check out this segment on Utah’s Fresh Living Show (KUTV)
I need your help! I am often asked how someone can help children in need from other countries. There are many incredible humanitarian trips available to places all over the world which will allow you to assist in many different ways. However, not everyone can afford to go overseas to do good. I want you to know that there are many children right near your hometown who could use your assistance. These are children with their families who have gone through tremendous struggles and fought many battles to arrive here. They are refugees. The definition of a refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. In my home state Utah, there are over 60,000 refugees alone. I have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to spend time with some of these families, and I must say that it has been life changing. I was first introduced to helping the refugees a few years ago from my History teacher in High School, Don Ward. This man spends most of his days helping and serving refugees from all over the world. He is such an example and inspiration for me. Around two years ago I met Amy Dott who works with serverefugees.org and I knew our friendship was meant to be. She is incredible and has a passion for service. I am grateful and excited for the opportunity she has given me to work with serverefugees.org.
A few weeks ago I was traveling around the country of Armenia. When I arrived there, I spent a few moments imagining myself as a refugee and thought what would it be like to enter a foreign country with my family without knowing the language or customs and how overwhelming and frightening that would be. Most of the families I have spent time with have fled from their home country to another country just to spend 15-17 years living in a refugee camp in a tent. Then if they are lucky, they will be able to go someplace, such as the United States, where they will be able to work in a job, live in an apartment and have opportunities for education.
Centers are set up for the refugees where they can receive support, learn English and gather supplies to begin a new life. This is where help is needed. Donations of items, as well as service in spending time with these families, are just some of the ways to assist. ServeRefugees.org does many things to work with refugee organizations in the community. They also came out with an awesome new app called serve refugees, which I suggest you download if you would like further ideas on ways to serve.
I am currently working with ServeRefugees.org to help create some fun summer kits for children in a center in Salt Lake City. These kids have not had the luxury of having toys to play with and what better way to begin your summer with a few fun toys to enjoy. Below is a list of the items we are gathering for the kids. We would love for each child to have one of everything. However, they will honestly be happy with anything. These are the items we would like to have in each kit.
- Drawstring backpack
- Sidewalk chalk
- Ball (must be bigger than your fist)
- Coloring book
- Mechanical pencil
- Flip Flops (any children sizes)
We are trying to collect as many summer fun kits as possible by June 4th. I know this is short notice but if you aren’t able to get these items to us by June 4th please still drop off or mail these items at your convenience. There is always a need for fun summer toys in many other centers. If you do not live near any of these drop-offs, you can always use Amazon Prime (which is great with its free two-day shipping) or send a Walmart gift card which will allow us to finish purchasing all items needed. If you are interested in helping out more with the refugees please message me below and I will let you know of other opportunities in the future. Thank you for any support that you can offer.
Here are the drop-off locations
Fun For Less Tours
(drop off hours M-F 9:00-5:00 or you can mail items to this address)
Attn. Secrets of a Traveler
392 East 12300 South Suite D
Draper, UT 84020
Granite High School
(drop off hours M-F 1-4:30pm)
3305 South 500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
(south end of campus, west entrance)