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IRC

The Uncommon Life

Better to Give: Stand with Refugees

June 19, 2018

June 20 marks World Refugee Day, a global movement to shed light on the resilience and strength of people who have escaped conflict and are rebuilding their lives. We’re proud to support our longtime partner the International Rescue Committee in standing with the most vulnerable around the world.

Refugee resettlement in the US is at an all-time low. With over 65 million people displaced in the world, the need to support refugees is more urgent now than ever. Watch the video below for practical ways you can make a difference for refugees in the US right now. Find out how you can get involved by visiting www.rescue.org/worldrefugeeday

The Uncommon Life

Giving Tuesday 2017:
Partner Stories & Doubled Donations

November 28, 2017

If you’ve been paying attention to our blog this month, you’ve probably noticed references to something called “Giving Tuesday” slipped in among our many holiday gift guidesBut what exactly is Giving Tuesday?

Launched in 2012, Giving Tuesday is perhaps best described as a foil for the ever-popular quasi-public holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Celebrated yearly on the Tuesday that follows Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday encourages observers to use the day to focus on giving back, both in their communities and in the world at large. Here at UncommonGoods, this will be the third year we’re toasting Giving Tuesday by doubling our donations to our Better to Give partners. That’s right: On November 28, 2017—otherwise known as today—we’ll double the donation your partner of choice receives when you select them at checkout from $1 to $2, and, as always, we’ll do so at no additional cost to you.

Not sure who to choose? We love all of our partners, so we can’t play favorites. We can, however, link you to the four stories we shared this month, one for each partner, to count down to this very day… you know, in case you need a little nudge.

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The Uncommon Life

Giving Back with the IRC:
Meet the Ngalamulume Brothers

November 20, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: the IRC, short for the International Rescue Committee. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $92,000 to the IRC since beginning our partnership in 2016. Today, we’re proud to share a story from the IRC about Patrick and George Ngalamulume, two African refugees now living in Boise, Idaho.

Patrick Muteba, 21, left, and George Ngalamulume, 18, right; photos by Jonathan McBride/IRC

Written By Kulsoom Rizvi, Digital Content Officer, International Rescue Committee

Patrick and George grew up in the inner cities of Zambia, where they witnessed and experienced all kinds of hardships and ugliness: sleeping on cold cement floors, lacking enough food to eat, hearing cries of rape outside their doors. They would walk for miles, sometimes without shoes, to fetch water from the nearest well.

But what the Ngalamulume brothers craved most was a proper education. They were taught basic literacy and math at a local school—local meaning several miles from their house—but they knew there was no future for them in Zambia. Their parents had fled the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo; as sons of refugees they would find it nearly impossible to go to college in Zambia.

And yet, today, Patrick and George have become the first people in their family to attend college. The brothers have big ambitions to continue their educations at medical and law programs. They want to make a difference, to give back, to make a better world.

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The Uncommon Life

SCOTUS Partly Reinstates Travel Ban: Why We Stand with the IRC

June 26, 2017

IRC | Jodi Hilton

Earlier today, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear full arguments in October for Trump v International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v State of Hawaii, cases regarding the Trump administration’s proposed travel ban. This decision allows the administration to move forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. With this decision, a 120-day ban on refugees will also be allowed to take effect on a limited basis.

We recognize that the world is increasingly volatile. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we do know that safe communities are important to everyone—regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or home country.  That’s why UncommonGoods supports organizations that advocate for causes that we believe in. In light of the decision to reinstate the travel ban, we are proud to stand with the International Rescue Committee, our longtime Better to Give partner.

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The Uncommon Life

A Force for Good: Why We’re Doubling Our Donation to the IRC

February 9, 2017

Jodi Hilton/IRC

As an independently owned business, we have the ability to support causes we believe in and to impact the world in a positive way–so each time you shop at UncommonGoods, we donate $1 to a non-profit partner of your choice through our Better to Give program. Although the donations are at no cost to you, your purchases have allowed us to donate more than $1 million to our partners since 2001.

Last summer, we were proud and honored to welcome the International Rescue Committee to the Better to Give program. Since June 2016, we’ve raised $57,000 (and counting!) for their mission to aid refugees and families afflicted by conflict around the globe. But there’s still work to do.

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The Uncommon Life

Bloggers Who Believe It’s Better to Give

October 27, 2016

btog-amforests

Thanksgiving Day is less than one month away, which means that we are officially entering the eye of the holiday season! (Cue “Eye of the Tiger.”)

Between between hours of travel, days of holiday dinner prep, and months of coordinating reunions with loved ones, it can be hard to take the time to plan anything that doesn’t revolve around your own seasonal traditions.

But there’s no denying that taking the time to give back is invaluable. All year long, we offer our customers the chance to give back through our Better to Give program. With every purchase you make, we’re proud to donate $1 to a Better to Give partner of your choice (at no cost to you). This year, we want to make sure that giving back is part of your holiday planning. So, we turned to our community to spread the word about our Better to Give program.

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The Uncommon Life

Twice a Refugee: A Visit from the IRC

June 24, 2016

After recently partnering with a new Better to Give partner – The International Rescue Committee (IRC) – UncommonGoods was lucky enough to have an audience with Omar Almashhadani, a refugee client of the IRC. Omar describes himself as being a refugee twice in his life. In 2006, Omar was living in his native Iraq, studying prosthetic dentistry, and was hoping to continue his studies and move into practicing – but his life was in danger. The security situation in Iraq had collapsed, and his family fled the country to what they thought at the time might be a beacon of safety—Syria. They lived in a refugee camp, and Omar and his brother couldn’t go to college or work because of restrictions on refugees. Given the bleak outlook for their futures in a refugee camp, Omar and his family decided to apply for refugee resettlement in the United States, and in April 2008, were granted resettlement in the U.S. With help from the IRC, Omar became a U.S. citizen and has been going to school and working in New York City ever since. Here’s a look at our conversation with Omar.

Omar and Family

Omar (far right) with his family, who are now living in the United States

What was your life in Iraq like before the war?

It was peaceful, quiet, and I could go outside to hang out with my friends and family. We had many different communities and different religions, but we were all very happy and peaceful.

How did your family decide it was time to leave Iraq?

In 2003, the war drove me and my family out of my hometown and into the center of Baghdad where we stayed with my uncle. Unfortunately the conflict continued to escalate with suicide bombings and rumors of people being kidnapped. Then in 2005 my brother was shot in the leg, and we realized it was too dangerous to stay any longer. We knew we had to leave as soon as possible, so we applied for an Iraqi passport – which can take a year to be approved. Finally we fled to Syria in 2006. At that time, Syria was considered safer than Iraq.

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