November 24, 2009

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Fatima Hindi is an Iraqi refugee living in Chicago. Her journalist husband was killed in Iraq. She receives $320 a month from public assistance but her rent is $550. Barely able to make rent Fatima and her 3-year-old daughter need our support.

This Thanksgiving--in the face of the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan--you can show your desire to relate to the world in a more compassionate way by setting an extra place at your table for an Iraqi refugee, and donating a percentage of what you will spend on your meal, $12, to help her get a hand up.

Through ReaCH, an innovative refugee resource center started by two CODEPINK activists, Fatima has begun teaching Arabic classes and coordinating events for her community. She says helping other refugees has restored purpose to her life, showing her glimmers of hope as she accepts her new surroundings. The translation program will help her make a living wage and provide a safe place to raise her daughter.

You can help give Fatima a “hand up” by donating just $12, which will pay her for an hour of work translating for a new refugee family to ensure that family gets access to public assistance, medical services, and school for kids.

Fatima's full story is here. Fatima is one of hundreds of single moms in the Chicago area trying to make a new home in the U.S. while caring for her children. In response to the great need, longtime CODEPINK activists Julia Field and Pat Hunt founded ReaCH, the Refugee Center for Hope, in downtown Chicago, and they are asking for our support.

The ReaCH program was born out of giving out hand-outs, like donating coats to refugee families last winter, but has grown into a sustainable model of service. As Julia says, “Teaching and helping others is empowering. It's not a hand-out, it's a hand up, and when you teach others you reinforce your own knowledge and gain confidence.

Share your bounty this Thanksgiving, and make a donation to ReaCH, now.
Dana, Emily, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janet, Jodie, Marina, Medea, Nancy, Paris, Rae, Suzanne, and Whitney

Photo Credit: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

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