Loving your neighbor

Reflecting on international events

Good morning friends.

Bread is available for pre-order right now. Thanks to those of you who bought bread last week. It was a busier than usual Thursday - and I appreciate that.

Last night (as the dough for today’s bread was resting) I shared with Melissa that I have a heavy heart thinking about all that is going on in Afghanistan right now with the Taliban taking over the country and countless families trying to flee their homes for safety. She echoed the sentiment and added that she has been feeling similarly about the Haitian people after another severe earthquake occurred there a few days ago. Then we sat quietly for a moment. We both sat thinking about all of the other tough things going on in this world. Do you ever find that by paying attention to the news (whether it is local, or state, or national or international) there just seems to be so much in the world that is dreadful and feels entirely out of our control?

After sitting with these feelings for a while, and praying for peace, safety, and health for my fellow humans living in these two particular countries… I decided I’d spend this early morning researching organizations and efforts that are already at work helping people in these communities. The humanitarian crises in both these two countries are dire right now… but in neither case are they fundamentally new. That can be tough to face because it reminds me of my privilege and how on most days I neglect to turn my attention to the plight of my neighbors across the world. However, I do find comfort in knowing that people are dedicating their labor, and in many cases dedicating their lives, to helping others survive circumstances like these.

If you’re like me, you might appreciate knowing that there are ways that you can plugin to existing good efforts. I’m grateful to be able to take feelings of compassion and turn that into contributing to the work that like-minded people are doing to help others.

Anyway… if by chance these circumstances are on your heart also… here are some orgs that you may want to look into:

  • International Rescue Committee: Has been responding in Afghanistan since 1988. They work with thousands of Afghan villages across nine provinces, raising money to deliver aid and resources to Afghan families. Learn more about IRC and how to support it here.

  • Women for Women International: This group has launched an emergency campaign to help Afghan women and says it’s monitoring the situation on the ground. You can support its efforts here.

  • Afghanaid: This group, headquartered in London, is providing emergency services in Afghanistan. You can follow its updates on Instagram and support its efforts here.

  • Save the Children: This group is providing aid to displaced families, although it warns that “some areas are inaccessible to humanitarians.” It estimates that 800,000 children have been displaced in the last two months. You can learn more here.

  • If you’re in Madison, WI: Jewish Social Services is the only official refugee resettlement organization in Dane Country. JSS has already helped resettle families from Afghanistan in the past couple of months and is currently seeking volunteers and financial donations to help with their efforts. For more on how you can help, click here.

  • If you’re in the D.C. area: Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area is looking for volunteers to help assist resettled Afghans (highlighted in this Twitter thread). Learn more here.

  • If you’re in Canada: “The Conference of Defence Associations and the CDA Institute are seeking 1,000 volunteers . . . to welcome and help integrate Afghans who served alongside the Canadian Armed Forces.” Learn how you can get involved here.

  • Other local volunteer opportunities: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is looking for volunteers to assist resettled Afghans in Seattle, Houston, and Fort Worth. (Regional info here & more info here)

  • Miles4Migrants: A nonprofit whose mission is to use donated airline miles and money to book flights to fly displaced persons separated by conflict and persecution to safe new homes. Check them out to see if/how you can donate airlines miles you may have.

  • UNICEF is working with the government and humanitarian aid groups to help vulnerable children and families in Haiti. Medical kits to support 30,000 people have already been delivered to the Les Cayes port and medical, health and sanitation supplies are on the way. Donate here to help support that effort.

  • The Smile Trust is a nonprofit working on the ground with Haitian-led organizations in South Florida to send resources to Haiti. 

  • Project Hope: a nonprofit that is sending out an emergency response team to help in Haiti.

  • Hope for Haiti: has a stockpile of emergency kits ready to distribute to individuals and families. The organization consists of Haitian doctors, nurses and program managers.

  • Save the Childrenaccepting donations to continue their work with children and families in Haiti and help distribute aid.

  • World Vision has pre-prepared supplies to provide immediate humanitarian aid to 6,000 people. Donate here.

  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation established a relief fund to help victims of the earthquake.

  • The United Way and the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald have activated Operation Helping Hands to help victims of the Haiti earthquake.

  • Catholic Relief Services is working with local partners to coordinate the delivery of life-saving supplies, including tarps, blankets, medical supplies, food, and clean water.

  • CARE has a Rapid Response Team that is deploying experts who will provide food, temporary shelter, and vital supplies to Haitians affected by the earthquake.

  • Fonkoze supports long-term efforts to combat poverty in Haiti, providing financial aid and other resources to women in particular. CNN’s Impact Your World

“Oh God,
To those who have hunger, give bread,
and to those of us who have bread, give the hunger for justice.

Mo Cheeks