Washington Post: American volunteers are helping refugees. The government should, too.

Washington Post: American volunteers are helping refugees. The government should, too.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” I wondered when I read the March 26 Metro article “American ‘mama bear’ helps refugees,” about a brilliant way to get supplies to refugees who arrive in this country with nothing. Then, as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan, I thought, “Great, but where are our elected leaders?” Good-hearted Americans have always played a role in welcoming refugees in our communities, but they cannot replace the work of U.S. refugee resettlement agencies hit hard by recent Trump administration cutbacks. 

Washington Post: "Now anyone can easily send items to a U.S. refugee family’s home, thanks to one woman’s ‘mama bear instincts’"

Washington Post: "Now anyone can easily send items to a U.S. refugee family’s home, thanks to one woman’s ‘mama bear instincts’"

A year and a half ago, Miry Whitehill got a call from a neighborhood friend who had met a family of recently arrived refugees from Syria. They had a 7-month old and were in search of a jumperoo, a doorway harness that a baby can bounce in.

Food & Wine: How Miry Whitehill Resettles Refugees, One Dinner at a Time

Food & Wine: How Miry Whitehill Resettles Refugees, One Dinner at a Time

Miry Whitehill never set out to start a nonprofit organization . Or a monthly supper club featuring Middle Eastern cuisine, hosted by immigrant families—which is how most people find out about the organization, Miry’s List. The Los Angeles-based former marketing exec and stay-at-home mom got pulled into this whole thing a year and a half ago, when a friend called.

Parade: "Miry’s List Supports Refugee Families Through Community and Food + Fattoush Salad Recipe"

Parade: "Miry’s List Supports Refugee Families Through Community and Food + Fattoush Salad Recipe"

In July 2016, Miry Whitehill was a stay-at-home mom living in Southern California when a friend introduced her to a family of new arrival refugees from Syria—a dad, mom and their twin 5-year-old girls and 5-month-old baby boy. Whitehill’s friend, Suzanne, wanted to find a secondhand Fisher-Price Jumperoo chair (a chair that bounces and spins with toys that keep baby busy), so the tired parents could take a break. New Jumperoos cost between $70 and $130.