Today is World Refugee Day, and there is an organization, called USA for UNHCR that is working to raise awareness for the plight of refugees from across the globe. They’ve been fund-raising with the sale of $5 #BlueKey(s). Together the power of cause-related marketing is being executed to promote the fund-raising and sale of blue keys — I bought four and donated more to their cause. Cost is merely $5 each sold in the U.S. only.
An admirable woman I know, Shonali Burke, has begun working this this group and has implemented the broadest, most impressive social media campaign strategy I’ve seen in awhile. (I must give kudos to colleagues’ work.)
But, what is a refugee?
This word conjures up Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Madonna, George Clooney and Bono, among other celebrity faces hitting Sub-Saharan Africa and other poverty-stricken regions of the world to raise awareness of the problem that is so far removed from other corners of the world, yet so critical.
It’s truly easy to ignore this situation, isn’t it? To turn your cheek and resume remoting the channel changer? Do you remember Sally Struthers? No greater humanitarian back in the day, and she asked us for our money all the time. Who gave to her? Now’s your chance to rectify that and help the United Nations. You can convince yourself that the plight of these people does not affect you in the least. But, you’re wrong. Refugees come in all shapes and sizes and from all countries of the world.
Violence is an overriding factor that causes people to be uprooted from homes, villages, and comfort zones. Invaders, dictators, war, and poverty become issues for women and children who are victims of rape, violence, kidnap, and murder while husbands, fathers and sons watch helplessly the slaughter of their families.
The victims of the Haiti earthquake now living in shanty towns; are they considered refugees? Probably not, but their choice is to leave poverty and seek refuge in the Dominican or the U.S., but they can’t. Semantics.
For those people seeking asylum from various homelands, such as Iran, for example, to escape a dictatorial regime operated on the theme of Islamic fundamentalism, how shall we define them? Is asylum seeker a higher-end, more affluent and non-poverty oriented moniker for refugee? Semantics.
The UNHCR is one of the most respected not-for-profits across the globe. Its brand and credibility are second to none. America is the land of the free. So, free your vision from your immediate surroundings and open your heart to help and give. When you spend $5, those 500 pennies will be shared with people who believe $.25 is a treasure.
Please consider buying your #BlueKey right now, and when you do, look around. You do know a refugee you can touch in your life today; it’s just that you’ve never wrapped your head around how to define that word — migrant, immigrant, illegal alien, asylum seeker, refugee. It’s semantics, and regardless of the label you put on one another; we’re all human and each of us deserves a safe place to make a home.