How Can I Help? Refugees arrive with little beyond the clothes they are wearing and are often very unfamiliar with American ways of life. You can make a real difference by offering your time, skills and gifts to help welcome new Wisconsin residents from a refugee background. Supporting Local Refugee Resettlement Agencies and Afghan Individuals and Families The Afghan individuals and families resettling in Wisconsin will come from military bases across the country and be primarily resettled in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wausau, and the Fox Valley area. Upon arrival, local refugee resettlement agencies will assist the individuals in gaining access to housing, transportation, employment, and other benefits they are eligible for. Given the influx of arrivals and lack of storage space, local agencies are in critical need of monetary donations to assist these individuals in building their new homes and lives. Wisconsinites interested in helping can donate to any of the six refugee resettlement agencies in Wisconsin: International Institute of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (Milwaukee) World Relief Fox Valley (Oshkosh and Appleton) Jewish Social Services (Madison) Ethiopian Community Development Council (Wausau) Catholic Charities of Green Bay How You Can Help Volunteer: Refugees that arrive to Wisconsin from overseas may need help practicing English, doing their homework, learning American customs, or becoming a part of their new local community. Donate: Refugees often arrive with few personal possessions. Clothing, school supplies, personal hygiene products, furniture, and other household goods are often valuable items that you could donate to a new family. Fundraise: Refugees arrive with varying amounts of money, but most could use a little extra support as they get started, until they start work (which is usually very soon after arrival). Additional financial support can help pay for a first month’s rent, new clothes, a utility bill, or some of the small comforts that we all enjoy. Alternatively, many of the organizations that serve refugees are non-profit organizations that depend on the financial support of generous local Wisconsin residents. Fundraising to make a financial gift to a local organization could directly benefit one refugee family, or it could help provide valuable resettlement services to many! Advocate: Refugee resettlement is built on a model of community support. Helping to build support for refugees among your neighbors, place of work, family, and friends can increase your impact on newly arriving refugee communities. Connect: Refugee services providers are always looking for resources for refugees such as safe, affordable rental housing and family supporting jobs. If you know of any available housing or employment in your area, reach out to your local refugee resettlement agency to help them connect with a new and valuable resource.