Since our league is composed of some tough chicks, it is our goal to make a difference. San Diego Roller Derby is a non-profit organization and is looking forward to serving our community this upcoming season. We are excited to choose a variety of local charitable organizations to support at each home bout. It is our responsibility and our pleasure to give back to our community. Our skaters all gain so much from the experience of playing derby the only way we can think to make it more fulfilling is to help improve the lives of others while tearing it up on skates.
For our season opener, and 1st home bout, we are proud to host The International Rescue Committee (IRC). Founded in 1933, the IRC is a global leader in emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement services and advocacy for those uprooted or affected by violent conflict and oppression. The IRC provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Members of the organization will be at our bout on January 23rd to spread the word about all of their efforts to assist the people who take refuge here in San Diego. As the IRC does so much world wide as well as with our local refugee families this is a unique opportunity to help locally and globally at the same time. The IRC is such an amazing organization, please help us welcome them with open arms and offer them all that we can. Take the time to check out their local programs, donate and learn about the volunteer opportunities. We will be having a 50/50 raffle drawing to earn funds for their Family Education Department.
So… Who are refugees? A refugee is a person who is forced to leave their country and cannot return because of a legitimate fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, politics and social group. The IRC provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom. Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination. This year, IRC anticipates helping 1,200 refugees to rebuild their lives in San Diego. IRC offers comprehensive services for refugees to assist in the acculturation process: citizenship and immigration, community health and food security, employment, economic development, family education, financial literacy, microenterprise, and youth programs. IRC San Diego’s Family Education Department, including the First Things First family learning center and Families Connect home visiting program, need your help. Whereas funding has been cut in half over the past two years, enrollment in both programs has more than doubled. These education programs are essential to families who are considered the most at-risk, many of which spent ten to 25 years in a refugee camp. At First Things First, refugee parents from Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Congo, Somalia, Sudan, and the Ukraine attend English-as-a-Second-Language classes while their children prepare for kindergarten in the preschool. For many parents, this is their very first opportunity to learn to read and write in any language; in fact, about 1/3 of the adults begin by learning how to hold a pencil and write their name. Through Families Connect, a home visiting program established as an enhancement to First Things First, refugee families are matched with volunteer tutors who visit once a week and provide additional English language practice.
There are many ways for you to help! Please consider making an investment in our refugee families and their futures by making a donation today. We also have a variety of volunteer opportunities available. For more information, please visit www.theIRC.org or email them at Lisa.Bahr@theIRC.org
So, on January 23rd come out watch some awesome derby, support the IRC, cheer us on and buy a ton of raffle tickets for an incredible cause!