Five Ways to Get Started:
Seven Challenges Refugees Face:
Want more ideas?
Local Organizations That Might Need Volunteers:
In the United States, members can find local service opportunities at 211.org or JustServe.org to learn about opportunities to serve refugees in their communities. Outside the United States, leaders can contact their area welfare manager for help in identifying trusted organizations in their area.
Five Questions to Ask When Identifying Potential Organizations:
LDS Charities is the humanitarian arm of the Church. In 2015, LDS Charities completed 2,300 projects in 136 countries that provided aid with disaster relief, clean water and sanitation, wheelchairs, maternal and newborn care, immunization campaigns, vision care, and family gardening.
Did you know that in addition to supporting local organizations, the Church partners with global relief organizations that assist refugees, such as:
“One of the fundamental principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is to ‘impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, . . . administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants’ (Mosiah 4:26). . . .
“. . . ‘I Was a Stranger’ gives sisters a way to serve as individuals, in families, and in organizations and to offer friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike service to the refugees in our midst. . . .
“Sisters may participate in this effort when time and circumstances allow, making sure that no one is expected to ‘run faster than [she] has strength’ and that all ‘things are done in wisdom and order’ (Mosiah 4:27).”
Thomas S. Monson, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 91-94
Henry B. Eyring, “The Caregiver,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 121-24
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Are My Hands,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 68-75
“The relief effort ‘I Was a Stranger’ focuses on serving refugees in our local neighborhoods and communities. It is just one of many ways women, young women, and girls in Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary can lift and bless those in need (see Matthew 25:35; Leviticus 19:34).”
Linda K. Burton, “I Was a Stranger,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016
Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 119-21
Sarah Jane Weaver, “Primary Leaders Encourage Children to ‘Light the World,’” Church News, Nov. 26, 2016.
As you prayerfully seek the guidance of the Spirit, you will be guided to opportunities to serve according to your individual and family circumstances.
Look around your neighborhood, school, workplace, and other places you visit often for those who might need your help and your love. Opportunities to effectively assist refugees are also often available in local civic, community, or church organizations.
As you discover ways to make a difference in your area, share them with the general auxiliary presidencies so they might share them with other sisters.
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Where can I find ideas?
“We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness. . . . We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”
Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 86
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Where Can I Find Ideas on Helping Refugees?
In a world of constant change and commotion, we may often feel like strangers. All around us we hear of distress, tragedy, and hardship. We live in a time of uncertainty and unrest. Many around us live in fear of an unknown future. What can our role as women be in the last days to prepare the earth for the coming of Christ? What can we do to reach out, to love, to nurture, and to minister as He has invited us to do?
We each have the invitation as women and young women to open our eyes and our hearts to see those among us who may feel alone, afraid, or uncertain so that we are no longer strangers (see Matthew 25:35–36; Ephesians 2:19). We are invited to share our love, our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and our hands to strengthen others and love them as the Savior would have us do. This is not a program; it is who we are.
With our divine nature as women, we can be a light in a darkening world. We can give hope, love, and care to those around us. We are not asked to “run faster than [we have] strength” (Mosiah 4:27). Although we can work together, we are not asked to organize large efforts. Instead we are each asked to seek personal revelation about whom the Lord would have us strengthen and love as individuals and as families. The Savior invites us to participate in a personal ministry of love and to remember His words: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these . . . , ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name.
(“As Sisters in Zion,” Hymns, no. 309)
Wondering how to get involved with helping refugees? These resources can help you and your family find opportunities to lift and serve within your community.