Send a #RefugeesWelcome postcard!

18 Nov

Postcard_AmericanThis week the governors of more than half the states in the country, and several Republican presidential candidates, proclaimed that they would not accept Syrian refugees in their states, or that only Christian refugees should be permitted.

I believe this rhetoric is shameful on many fronts. It flagrantly ignores the reality that prospective immigrants to the U.S. are already subject to a lengthy, rigorous screening process. It pretends that security can be achieved by discriminating against a broad swath of people based on their religion and nationality, and that doing so is not an affront to American values. It sneers at compassion and revels in enmity–and only for the sake of enmity.

I have been disheartened by the displays of fear and prejudice in the name of Christianity, but heartened that several religious groups have shown support for the plight of refugees, and hope that those voices prevail over the fear-mongering ones. In particular, I appreciate the statements by Pope Francis, the National Association of Evangelicals, and (my peeps) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sympathizing with the refugees.

If you, like me, want to show support for welcoming refugees to the U.S., may I offer a suggestion?

Send a postcard.

Postcard_Liberty2

According to this TED talk, a handwritten note is one of the best and simplest ways to reach your elected representative. And according to my own experience, putting pen to paper and then slipping a card into the mailbox feels so much more joyful and human than sending an email that slithers off into the abyss. (Although even an email to your representative is better than just complaining on Facebook or mumbling discontentedly to yourself whilst reading the news.)

Are you on board? It’s quite simple, then.

1. Download a PDF of a postcard. (I adapted them from vintage government posters, available here and here at the Library of Congress.)

Download “For Liberty’s Sake” postcard [PDF]

Download “Thrill of Liberty” postcard [PDF]

2. Print it on cardstock.

3. Write your message on the back. (If you’re out of practice with postcards, just remember: message on the left, recipient’s address on the center right, stamp in the top right.)

4. Find out who your elected representatives are with an online search tool, follow the link to the representative’s website. The address is usually listed on the bottom of the home page, or you can search for the contact or office locations page. (And keep that info on file for next time you have something to say!)

+50 points to Gryffindor good citizenship if you write to more than one representative

+10 points if you review the representative’s website to find statements he or she has made on this issue, and respond specifically to those statements

+10 points if you sincerely thank them for their service (even, and especially, if you disagree with them)

5. Address it, stamp it, and slip it in the mail!

The conversation about refugees will continue to evolve, but I hope you join in this simple, concrete way to share your thoughts with your elected representatives.

P.S. You can also donate to groups that provide on-the-ground support to refugees, like the International Rescue Committee or UNHCR.

 

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3 Responses to “Send a #RefugeesWelcome postcard!”

  1. Karen H November 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Very innovative program. How much is a postcard stamp? I suppose most people will just use a first class one because – who sends postcards nowadays.

  2. Dad November 20, 2015 at 2:27 am #

    Awesome idea! I think this is brilliant and agree that is is patently shameful for our Country or States to broad-brush an issue by preventing refugees from coming here because they happen to be from a particular country or religious tradition. Keep up the great work! Love, Dad

  3. hydrovw November 23, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Leave it to you Holly to come up with this! I agree with you, it’s shameful that so many states have refused to accept these refugees, let alone the country as a whole. What have they done to us? Because of the acts of a few crazy people many have to suffer. Thanks for the downloads and the awesome post cards, oh, and the instructions for how to address a post card. You won me completely with that! 🙂 You can’t imagine how many people don’t know how to write/address anything these days.

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