In the 608: How you can support Open Doors for Refugees

MADISON, Wis. – Open Doors for Refugees is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to help refugees make a home in the Madison area.

It was founded back in 2016 and has made an incredible positive impact already. They support new and recent arrivals in a variety of ways, largely through a network of volunteer teams.

With the support of area communities, Open Doors is able to provide numerous items and services. They collect furnishings and set up apartments, along with providing others things, like translation, transportation, ESL, childcare, and employment services for arriving refugees.

During this time, it’s community support that’s crucial.

“The number of people that reach out who are interested, especially with the crisis in Afghanistan over the past summer, we are overwhelmed with the support and are just so grateful,” said volunteer coordinator Hillary Johnson.

Each year, the events team puts on four major annual events and a handful of one-off events, either for the refugee community or the community at large.

More than 6,600 volunteer hours have been put in, valued at roughly $167,000. Nearly 7,000 miles have been driven by volunteers for the transportation, and donations are also estimated in the tens of thousands.

“We’re always overwhelmed by the great response we get from our community,” Johnson added. “People are always so eager and willing to help and it’s just wonderful.”

They’re only able to make a difference due to the help of generous donations from individuals and organizations, so if you’d like to learn more on how you can help, click here.