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A Concrete Way to Help Iraqi Refugees

By Kelly Hayes-Raitt,

On May 15, I head for Amman, Jordan, and Damascus, Syria, where I will spend the summer volunteering to assist Iraqi refugees. I'll be working with the non-profit Middle East Fellowship, based in Pasadena. We are raising tax-deductible donations to support the on-the-ground work of the Refugee Response Teams. If you can help with a small donation, please visit; your donation will be directed toward this effort. (Or, you can send a check to: PO Box 41155, Pasadena, CA 91114, earmark the check for IRAQI REFUGEES.)

We have 2 delegations scheduled to visit and assist Iraqi refugees: May 16 - 26 (already closed out) and July 12 - 22 (still accepting applications). During the July trip, we'll spend 5 days in Damascus and 5 in Beirut; the total cost to participate is only $1,200 (which includes accommodations in western-style hotels, meals, translators, transportation to Beirut) for the 10 days. We are looking for people who will return home and address their community about the plight of the 4.2 million Iraqi refugees. (2 million of them are in Syria....Only 5,000 have been allowed into the US since we invaded Iraq.) Let me know if you are interested in joining me in July! More info, visit

I'll also be participating in the Middle East Fellowship's summer immersion program in Syria, learning Arabic and volunteering regularly to help refugees. I'll be blogging at This is also where I blogged 2 months ago from Guam and the Philippines about the impact of the American military. I'm also writing a column for 20 newspapers throughout the US and Canada about the impact US policies have on women and children overseas.

I won't be sending out e-mail updates, but I will be posting to the blog regularly. Please sign up for the RSS feed to be alerted to new posts -- and please comment on the blog so I know someone other than my mother is reading it!



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