Portland & the Global Refugee Crisis
by Megan Tragethon
Violence has forced over 60 million people across the world from their homes, hope and a safe place to live are what they’re now in search of. Less than 1% of those that are forced to leave their home country will have the opportunity to be resettled in a new country. Fortunately for Portland, Oregon, we receive around 1,300 of the world’s refugees every year.
Hear The Cry partners closely with Refugee Care Collective, a collaborative leadership network that formed out of the need to unite the body of Christ in caring for refugees in Portland. Our city has tremendous favor in caring for refugees – supportive state government officials, a long-standing relationship with a local refugee resettlement agency, and people whose hearts are stirred to compassion and action.
The heart of Jesus has always been to show mercy to those that are hurting, and restart kits are one of the significant ways to support refugee families. The kits are filled with the essential household items that are needed to start over. Pots and pans, dishes, and cookware allow a family to cook. A welcome doormat, candles, a blanket, and tea make a family feel welcome. Bedding allows a family to sleep comfortably. Other items turn an empty apartment into a home. The restart kits reflect dignity and bring honor and hope in the midst of devastating circumstances, and since families arrive to the U.S. with very little, this is one of the most tangible ways to show them that they’re welcomed and cared for. Restart kits are gathered during monthly Collection Days, or you can buy a restart kit for a family and let us gather the items for you.
We also invite you to donate furniture, mentor a refugee family for six months, or teach English classes. Learn more about ways to engage with refugees here, and join us in bringing the Kingdom to Portland in the form of caring for the refugee.