White House Turns to Kickstarter to Raise Funds for Syrian Refugees

syrian refugees kickstarter
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The White House has taken the novel step of starting a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds for Syrian refugees. In partnership with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Prez has gone on Kickstarter with an appeal to the American people: please send money.

And so far, in just a couple of days, the campaign has raised $1,238,377 from 19,409 people! (That’s an average donation of about $64.00.)

Says the Kickstarter page, “Any money you give through this campaign will go directly to USA for UNHCR to provide aid to people who need it – everything from food, water, and warm clothes to special care for children separated from their families,” adding that “This is a complex and evolving crisis, and there are no overnight solutions. But even a small contribution can give a family a place to sleep, or a child a set of dry clothes – and to them, that helps a lot.”

Now, you won’t get any cool swag for contributing to this particular Kickstarter compaign, unlike, say, the potato salad Kickstarter campaign where, for your pledge of $5, you got to “choose a potato-salad-appropriate ingredient to add to the potato salad, receive a bite of the potato salad, a photo of {Zack Brown} making the potato salad, a ‘thank you’ posted to our website and I will say your name out loud while making the potato salad.”

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But you will surely be making a difference. And, of course, the donation is tax deductable.

The most recent message on the Kickstarter page is a video message from President Obama himself.

Text of President Obama’s Kickstarter message

The Syrian refugee crisis isn’t something that is just happening on the other side of the world, for someone else to solve – it’s a humanitarian crisis that none of us can ignore. We’ve all seen the heartwrenching images of families forced to flee their home through no fault of their own. Those children are just like our children. They need our help, right now. Today the United States is the biggest donor of assistance to help the Syrian people. We’re also increasing the number of refugees welcome within our borders. And at the United Nations I announced new efforts to make sure the American people can help as well. Because in the faces of suffering families our nation of immigrants sees ourselves.

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It’s no surprise that in just a few short days Americans have stepped up in incredible ways. Congregations and small town communities are opening their arms and homes to those in need. Tech companies are making it easier for more people to donate food and shelter online. And if you want to join the effort, just go to AidRefugees.gov. It’s a site where you can find out what aid workers are doing on the front lines, and what you can do to help. We have always been a people who ask what we can do, and that’s why the United States of America will always be a beacon of hope to all who need it. Thanks.

You can contribute to the Syrian Refugee Kickstarter fundraiser here

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