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November 25, 2020

Virginia donor shares why she supports refugees every day of the year

photo of Christine S

Christine S. has been a generous monthly donor to USA for UNHCR for several years. She is a former teacher and devoted grandmother who now makes her home in Virginia. USA for UNHCR is thankful for Christine’s support and excited to profile her in a series we’re calling: Why I Give.

The Why I Give series provides donors like Christine 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 try and put myself in [refugees’] place and I try to think of having my entire life upended and fleeing with nothing. You’ve got children and then you're living in this camp and you don't know what your future is going to be. It’s one of the most vulnerable and precarious positions that a human being can be in.

You’ve been donor for a number of years, what keeps you motivated to give?

The stories and pictures in the newsletters. I look at her face [cover of the Fall 2020 newsletter featuring Salma, a Rohingya refugee], and it makes me reflect -- you can see her spirit, you can see her intelligence and her kindness and her warmth. And I know she’s in this impossible situation and there she is rising above it.

Why is giving so important to you?

I suffer from some health issues and I live with a lot of pain. I used to be very active volunteering and involved in all kinds of issues but I can't physically do that anymore. So, I start to wonder, ‘How am I contributing to the world?’ So I donate. This is the way I can reach out. I wish I could give more. I give such a little tiny bit, but it's all I can do. I still feel good about that.

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

We are all part of this same world and things that go on in Syria affect us here in America. People don't understand that perspective a lot of times, but we're all affected by each other in big and little ways. How can you see the plight of refugees and not try and put yourself in their position? I sound sappy when I talk about it, but they are our sisters and brothers and they must be supported with at least basic human needs and rights.

How you can help

Join Christine 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