Today, on World Refugee Day, Jillian Michaels teams up with USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to ask Americans to show their solidarity with refugees by joining the "Step with Jillian" challenge and committing to each raise $100 to help refugees.
"The global refugee crisis is far and away the largest humanitarian crisis of our time, and through this collective effort, we can show our solidarity, increase awareness about refugee issues, raise money to protect refugees and help them to rebuild their lives," said Michaels.
From South Sudan to Uganda, Myanmar to Bangladesh, Syria to Jordan—refugees endure long, dangerous and difficult journeys. Collectively, refugees worldwide travel approximately one billion miles a year to reach the nearest point of safety.
Michaels' personal commitment to the challenge includes stepping 100 miles in July and fundraising alongside her supporters. She's asking supporters to make their own commitment to physical activity and each raise $100 to help refugees. By raising just $15, every participant in the challenge will have free access to Michaels' workout app "My Fitness by Jillian Michaels" for 31 days. Other incentives will be offered throughout the challenge to keep fundraisers motivated.
"When you join this challenge, you will not only be making a difference in the lives of refugees, you'll get Jillian as your coach along the way," said Anne-Marie Grey, Executive Director & CEO of USA for UNHCR. "Jillian is providing the resources, information and tools necessary to make social change for refugees something to not only believe in, but more importantly, act upon."
In March 2019, Michaels traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where she met refugees to better understand their plight and find a way to offer hope. On day one, she boarded one of the buses at a UNHCR transit center that was taking hundreds of newly-arrived South Sudanese refugees to the Biringi refugee settlement. After spending two hours on the bus with women and children relieved to have found safety, she arrived to witness the reunification of two women named Joyce – friends and neighbors from South Sudan who hadn't seen each other in three years.
"Having had the privilege of meeting with refugees has forever changed me. Hearing their heartbreaking stories and learning about their incredible journeys to safety deeply inspired me to do more and to be better for myself and for them," said Michaels. "I'm counting on Americans to join me to help refugees who've taken extraordinary risks to reach safety for their families."
The "Step with Jillian" challenge launches on June 20, World Refugee Day, and asks individuals, companies and advocates to support refugees like the ones Michaels met in the DRC. Supporters can sign up for the "Step with Jillian" challenge at www.StepWithJillian.org.
About USA for UNHCR
USA for UNHCR protects refugees and empowers them with hope and opportunity. We are with refugees from their greatest time of need – from emergency or crisis and beyond through the months and likely years that many are displaced from their home countries. We give refugees the hope they deserve, restore their dignity and help them rebuild their lives. Find out more at www.UNrefugees.org.