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November 13, 2020

Kindness, gratitude and service are the foundation for this Georgian’s support for refugees

Elisa and dogs

Elisa K. has been a generous monthly donor to USA for UNHCR for several years. She is a dedicated federal government employee currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. USA for UNHCR is thankful for Elisa’s support and excited to profile her in a series we’re calling: Why I Give.

The Why I Give series provides donors like Elisa an opportunity to share why they support refugees and offer encouragement for other compassionate Americans to join them. Stories will feature the kindness of our donors from across the U.S.

There are lots of worthy causes to support. What draws you to support refugees?

I have been exceptionally blessed, I know that. I have a wonderful life. When I think back, I realize a lot of that is because I had opportunities as a child. The stories that you share about children are incredibly important to me. Reading about children in South Sudan for example and what they have to go through, even for their mothers to just get them food, that hits home. I never went hungry a day in my life. I never had a time where I couldn't be in school or learning or didn’t have shelter. Those are really important stories.

What inspires you to give?

There's a quote I try to live by from Mother Teresa: "Live simply so that others may simply live." I think for me, knowing how much I have that I take for granted, it's pretty amazing. I don't feel like what I'm donating is a great amount, but when USA for UNHCR breaks it down, and you can see how much it costs to take care of refugees, it really is such a small amount of money to help. That's what I keep thinking about.

Why is giving now so important to you?

I realize there is a need and that need isn't going to go away. In these challenging times when it feels like there's only so much we can do, donating is something that I can do to help somebody else. That's a good thing.

Are there other ways in addition to donating that you support refugees?

I belong to a group at church where we offer support and try to help refugees navigate some of the difficulties [of resettling to the U.S.] like rent and utilities. The resiliency of the people is pretty amazing. People pick up and start a new life, an entirely new life in another place. I don't know that I could do that.

Why do you think other Americans should join you in supporting refugees?

At one point in time, everyone's family was a refugee and I think that we have to remember that. We're here to both honor the people that came before us and recognize their struggles, but we're also here to give a gift to the future. If I'm not working to be part of a future that is built on inclusivity and caring for others, then I don't know that I'm really doing what I feel like I was put on this planet for.

How you can help

Join Elisa and other compassionate Americans and give kindness this year. Becoming a monthly donor is the most efficient and effective way to help those fleeing conflict. Make a difference in the lives of refugees by becoming USA for UNHCR’s newest monthly donor