charity Inspiration Journal


January 30, 2017 by @VanessaRivers

On Friday, January 27th, President Trump signed an executive order banning the entry of refugees and Muslims into the United States.

This policy orders the:

  • Complete suspension of travel from seven predominantly Muslim nationalities — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This includes dual-nationals, green card holders, and most visa-holders. (Excluded from the list are several wealthier Muslim majority countries where Trump has business interest, including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, the UAE, Egypt and Indonesia.)
  • Full suspension of US refugee program for 120 days as new “extreme vetting” rules are developed, even though America already has the toughest vetting program for refugees in the world.
  • Halving America’s refugee intake to a maximum of 50,000 annually, with a complete ban on admitting refugees from war-torn Syria.
  • Exemption for those of a “minority religion” in each of these countries — a phrase that can only be interpreted to exclude Muslims on the basis of their religion.

Join me in signing an open letter to President Trump to reverse this decision.


I have always been proud to call myself an American – until now. This order is embarrassing, appalling, and disgusting! How can we allow a president to completely disregard the Constitution, single out Muslims, and ban their entry into the USA on the basis of religion and nationality?

If your family was fleeing from Syria or another war-torn country, you would pray that people would come to your aid. How can we turn our backs on these people when they are being slaughtered? If refugees find the means to get all the way to America, how can we have the heart (of lack thereof) to turn them away? These people are just trying to survive!

The plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

This executive order goes against EVERYTHING America stands for. We have to do something!

Join me in signing an open letter to President Trump to reverse this decision.


I have never before written about politics here on my travel blog, but I feel so strongly about this issue that I am compelled to try to help in whatever small way I can. I understand there are many people in America that are suffering and that we need change, but this order is not going to bring the kind of change we need. With this order, and other stupid orders such as the “Mexico Wall,” Trump is going to incite racism and violence, rip apart our country, and drive it into the ground by alienating the Unites States from the rest of the world.

Anti-Americanism is going to rise, and Americans traveling outside the USA are going to start getting attacked in retaliation. As a travel blogger and global citizen, I feel it is my duty to stand up, not only for the refugees and Muslims, but also for Americans, whose ability to safely travel outside the USA will diminish if we allow unjust orders such as this.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic minority leader from New York, choked up as he vowed to “claw, scrap and fight with every fiber of my being until these orders are overturned.” I feel the same way and am so thankful for people like this. We all need to do our part to help!


Please also join me in donating to one of these amazing charities helping the refugees.

There are many well-established charity organizations helping the thousands of refugees flooding into Europe, most of whom are fleeing violence in Syria and Afghanistan or the brutal oppression of Eritrea’s dictatorship. The big charity groups are well-known: UNHCR, Unicef, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, the Red Cross and Save the Children. But there are other, smaller groups doing incredible work on the ground, every day. Here are four, smaller groups that have been vetted by PRI.ORG that you can help right now:

1. Migrant Offshore Aid Station
This charity exists to save children like Alan Kurdi, with a fleet of rescue boats patrolling the Mediterranean to save migrants lost at sea.

2. Refugees Welcome
Dubbed as a kind of “Airbnb for refugees,” this German nonprofit matches people with spare rooms with refugees in need of housing. If you don’t have a spare bed in Germany, you can still donate here.

3. Small Projects Istanbul
Provides classes and cultural enrichment and scholarships to Syrian children in Turkey who have been displaced by the Syrian conflict.

4. Hand in Hand for Syria
One of the few organizations that directly provides aid on the ground in Syria, including food, clothing, water, sanitation and crucial medical assistance to “help people to stay in Syria instead of fleeing to another country.” They accept donations via their page.

Please help by sharing this article, signing the petition, donating (if you have the means), and by using these hashtags to show you are against the ban on refugees and Muslims.
 #RefugeesWelcome #LetThemIn #Resist #NoWallNoBan


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  • Reply Anna Elbek January 31, 2017 at 9:33 am

    This is very touching V!! I’m speechless as to how our country had gotten to this point and I love how passionate you are to make your voice heard and stand up to this. I completely agree with all of this. I signed the petition and hope this whole disaster with be reversed!! Xo

  • Reply Becky van Dijk January 31, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you for writing this article Vanessa and using your platform to bring attention to this. Its especially helpful that you have shared these charities with your readers who can maybe skip a morning coffee (or three) to donate to help these people in need.

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