Thanks for your interest in hosting! Two quick things:
1. Be sure to join the Refugees Welcome to Dinner Facebook community. This closed Facebook group is where you can share questions, learnings, photos and comments with both our team and your worldwide community of fellow hosts. Consider this your kitchen, so to speak – a place to chat, chew on ideas and feed the global community of Refugees Welcome♥ dinners!
2. Your hosting toolkit is below! If you’re in a rush and want to read later, you can download a PDF version HERE.
Not everyone is connected to newly arrived refugees in their local communities. But connecting is a lot easier than you may think! We suggest contacting resettlement agencies and/or non-profits who work with refugees. Resettlement agencies work around the world to find homes, jobs and other support for refugees. Non-profits supporting refugees will also be in touch with refugees in your community; faith-based organizations, such as local churches, synagogues and mosques may also have connections.
When reaching out to refugees, be sure to consider their living situation and access to transportation. Chat with local resettlement agencies or drop us a line at [email protected]
Start with your guest list! It helps determine how big a space you need. Depending on the number of attendees, a home, office or community space may work. Consider things like: access to public transportation; comfortable seating and spaces to talk; and where the food will be coming from. In order to maximize the number of “yes” responses you receive, you could ask your guests to confirm availability for two potential dates.
Tip: When deciding on the date, be mindful of religious holidays and potential guest commitments.
Everyone knows: food brings people together, and invites sharing and conversation. If you’re planning to cook, consider including personal favorites or unique, local dishes. Think about your guests’ dietary restrictions (Vegetarian? Gluten-free? Kosher? Non-alcoholic?) and make sure there’s something for everyone. Catering your event is a stress-free way to feed your guests; if you go this route, consider caterers or restaurants that support refugees, like Eat Offbeat in New York City, La Cocina in San Francisco and The Chickpea Sisters in London.
Spread the word about your dinner on social media, over email and in person! Feel free to download and post any of the graphics we’ve made. If you’re not hosting, share these to show your support. You can help to build communities of welcome and sharing, both online and off.
Let’s make sure you’re ready to welcome your guests:
Everyone should have a chance to eat, a chance to talk and a chance to make new friends. What else should you remember to do?
The photos of your dinner will inspire other hosts to step up and welcome refugees. Here’s how to take great ones:
You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back. Or an extra scoop of ice cream, if that’s more appealing. Finally, here are a few things you can do to maximize your impact: