Guest post by Élan Karpinski
When it comes to helping refugees in need, USA for UNHCR’s Blue Key Campaign provides proof that small contributions can make a big difference. The fact is a $5 Blue Key is not only symbolic of your commitment to helping refugees in need – these “key” contributions add up to a big difference for millions of people.
And if you share USA for UNHCR’s compassion for refugees but cannot afford to make a big financial donation, there are still plenty of other ways to make a big difference on a small budget.
Here are 6 ways you can make a big difference on a small budget:
1. Become a Blue Key Champion
To become a Blue Key Champion, you simply purchase your $5 Blue Key and commit to writing a blog post about the campaign or the issues facing refugees. If you don’t have a personal blog, you can write for the Blue Key website (as I have elected to do). Not only will you be supporting a worthy cause, but you’ll have the opportunity to connect with a fantastic group of fellow champions. Hurry, though, since there’s not much time! The goal is to sell 6,000 keys by December 31. Now would be the perfect time to tell people about the campaign on your website.
2. Add a Blue Key badge to your profile picture or website
If you’re an avid Twitter or Facebook user, consider adding a small Blue Key badge to your profile picture. It’s very simple: go to PicBadge and click “Add to Profile Picture.” Let it be a conversation starter. When your friends ask about it, show them how to get their own Blue Key. If you have your own website, add a Blue Key widget or banner to your page.
You can pledge to donate one tweet per day at JustCoz. The Blue Key website has plenty of facts about refugees that you can use when writing your tweets. It’s a great use of social media to promote a socially responsible cause.
4. Mentor a refugee
Working directly with refugees has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Even if you only have a couple hours each week to spare, you can mentor a refugee. Contact your local refugee resettlement agencies and see if they have anyone in need of a mentor. Often, you will help a newly arrived refugee learn how to use public transportation, go grocery shopping and understand the local culture. Take this special opportunity to become someone’s first friend in America.
5. Donate used items
Instead of tossing out used items, donate them to a local refugee resettlement agency.* Many agencies accept donations of used clothing, shoes, accessories and household items. You’d be surprised at the significant difference a few small items can make in the lives of others.
*Note: USA for UNHCR and the Blue Key Campaign cannot accept material donations.
The next time your friend is celebrating a birthday, skip the $5 birthday card. Instead, buy a Blue Key. Include a note saying that you have helped save a life by getting a $5 Blue Key in their name instead of purchasing an expensive card.
Of course, your contribution to refugees doesn’t have to stop at a $5 Blue Key, no matter your budget.
If you’d like contribute more to USA for UNHCR, you can text SOMALIA to 80000 to make a $10 donation toward the famine in the Horn of Africa. You can also make a one-time or monthly donation on the USA for UNHCR website.
No matter what you give – large or small – the important thing is to consider giving, for every contribution makes a difference. If fact, when I consider the Blue Key campaign and the difference each of us can make, I think about a quote attributed to author/historian Edward Everett Hale:
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.”
Élan Karpinski is a blogger and refugee advocate from Minnesota.
Connect With Us
- Alek Wek's Journey Home
- blue key
- blue key champions
- Corporate Partnerships
- Photo Friday
- refugee awareness
- refugee news
- refugee stories
- staff stories
- UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie
- UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Khaled Hosseini
- UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie
- World Refugee Day
Tags#bluekey angelina jolie awareness bloggers blue key Blue Key champions children dadaab donate egypt ethiopia families famine help horn of africa how to help how to help refugees kenya libya photos refugee refugee awareness refugees refugee stories resettlement show support social media somalia south sudan sudan support symbol tunisia tweetathon twitter UNHCR united nations united states UN refugee agency USA USA for UNHCR video videos women world refugee day