We raise money to give grants and emergency funds to trusted and inspiring small volunteer groups on-the-ground helping refugees across Europe. Together we’re filling gaps in critical humanitarian aid to society’s most vulnerable men, women and children.
Why I resigned to help refugees
by Amber bauer, founder of donate4refugees
November 2, 2016
I resigned from my career earlier this year.
I am now the proud founder of a charity. And, in case you missed it, then it's a charity called Donate4Refugees which I set up to raise money to help.... Refugees.
If I were to believe what I hear and read in our news, then I wouldn't support Refugees.
If I were to listen to our Government, and the post-Brexit rhetoric, then I wouldn't support Refugees.
...and if I was to be influenced by the attitudes of the far right then I definitely wouldn't support Refugees.
I do support Refugees. I support Refugees because they are people just like you and me. A child, a mother, a father, a grandparent, a sister or a brother, and their needs are essential items we take for granted on a daily basis - food, clean water, warm clothes, medical supplies, shoes, phone credit, education.
The lives of millions of people have been torn apart completely out of their control. Everything they have ever known, their home and possessions, their hopes and dreams, gone. The crisis is unique in scale, unique in our lifetime and our response to it must also be unique.
My support for Refugees isn't a political statement - despite many people assuming it is - it's a human one.
I don't want to be the kind of person who does nothing in a crisis.
I don't want to be the kind of person who kicks someone when they're down.
...and I don't want to be a racist, or xenophobe, or so scared of difference that I can't see that it's just a person.
When our children grow up and ask what we did when faced with possibly the biggest humanitarian disaster of the century, I want to be able to tell them I did everything I could. Don’t you?
The response to the crisis by many has been amazing. Small charities have been set up in direct response - two mums, a mother and son team, two strangers who met in Calais, friends in an art project, a social worker who saw a need, an air steward who couldn't NOT help.
The work each of these individuals and charities do is invaluable, often life-saving. They rely on donations to enable them to react quickly, be at the forefront and really make a difference. The large well-funded charities - Oxfam, Save the Children, Unicef - are largely absent in Europe and these small organisations have picked up the gauntlet and are doing the job of governments and aid agencies many times over.
However, being such small charities spending all their time at the frontline, managing where the donations come from, and how the money should be spent, can be exhausting. Donate4Refugees was set up simply to help. The very least we can do is help fund the inspiring, selfless work of these volunteers.
Since I left my job in May, my journey has led me to volunteering in Refugee Camps in Greece and France, day trips to the Calais 'Jungle', volunteering with the Refugee Council and the local Refugee Day Centre, hosting with Refugees at Home, and more. I've done what I do best - rolled my sleeves up and dug in to learn about the big picture.
And I've learned that it's a heart-breaking and emotional crisis.
I've learned that it's a crisis on an unprecedented scale.
...and I've learned that it's entirely possible for a person to pretend it's not happening at all. To avoid the topic, avoid eye contact, continue with their normal, everyday life. In fact, it's almost a survival tactic because trying to come to terms with the enormity of the political, economic, religious, cultural, historical, emotional traits that define this crisis, is quite overwhelming.
However, if YOU sympathise with Refugees at all.
If YOU want to help but aren’t sure how.
If YOU are sickened by the strengthening voices of our country's racists and right-wing...
...then YOU can do something to help. From the continued comfort of your own home and without taking the significant step of resigning from your job!
All I'm asking YOU to do for your part is set up a monthly payment, or make a one-off donation.
Donate4Refugees receives new requests daily from any of the volunteer groups registered with us. Everything is urgent, lots is reactive. A change in weather. A new political directive. A new war zone.
Please support us today. We make every penny count, we have hardly any overheads and use all donations delivering aid. We are a registered charity and registered with HMRC for GiftAid.
Please share our story with your colleagues, friends and family and please offer us the occasional word of support and encouragement; this can be a tough gig!
And, in case you're wondering, I haven't regretted my decision to give up my career for a second. I just regret that the world isn't a nicer place.
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Our mission is to ensure every displaced man, women and child asking for Europe’s help is provided with the support they need to get back on their feet with dignity. That is to have a place to live, enough food to eat, clothes to wear, warmth, lighting and hygiene. Along with access to essential information, an appropriate education and support back to independence. We primarily do this by raising money from individuals and businesses to fund inspired humanitarian projects scoped and delivered by our official volunteer partners on-the-ground in Europe’s refugee hot-spots and here in the UK. And we petition for political change appropriately. We work #TogetherforHumanity to keep people and hope alive.
In 2017 we helped an estimated 24,000 refugee men, women and children.
By funding 92 grassroots projects.
Giving grants to 32 grassroots volunteer individuals and groups.
To provide clothes for those with few, (42%), food for the hungry (19%), and shelter and warmth (10%).
And we were at the centre of two very successful collaborative projects - Boots1000 and Love4Lesvos.
Our founder, Amber Bauer, was a Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
We are an Official Partner Charity for Charity Week