Causes That Move Us: 2020 Miry’s List World Refugee Day Awards

Miry's List

On June 20, 2020, Miry’s List, a nonprofit organization that supports refugee families recently resettled in the United States from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, will present their 2020 World Refugee Day Awards. The event’s goal is to raise $50,000 to help 100 more refugee families who have urgent needs due to COVID-19.

Unprecedented Challenges             

Mirys List
Miry Whitehill

“The resettling families we serve, who are often low-income or otherwise part of high-risk populations, are uniquely vulnerable in the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Miry Whitehill, Founder and Executive Director of Miry’s List. “Each year on June 20th, World Refugee Day honors those who have experienced migration and resettlement. On this World Refugee Day, we have re-invented our event and goals to adhere to safe-at-home regulations, therefore safely and efficiently help resettling refugee families with urgent needs.”

“Our COVID-19 response program is focused on two critical areas,” said Whitehill. “First, to provide masks, gloves, bedding and cleaning supplies for families to safely isolate in their homes. We also provide devices for students to access their classrooms remotely. We are so grateful to partners like NorthStar Moving Company. They donated 1,000 non-medical face masks and gloves at the exact moment we needed them. Now we call on our global community of partners, donors, volunteers, supporters and allies to help us reach our goal.”

Virtual Supper Club                                   

Supporters of Miry’s List in Los Angeles can join the “New Arrival Supper Club at Home” event, hosted by KCRW’s Evan Kleiman. The updated supper club experience, in partnership with Spread Kitchen, features a safe-at-home family lunch prepared by Maaysa and Abdul Kanjo of Syria. These meals are available for curbside pick-up. They can also be delivered right to your door in downtown Los Angeles. The meals will also be available the following day, June 21, for Father’s Day celebrations. 

2020 Ana Huna Awards Recipients

At the live Facebook event, Miry’s List will present their 2020 Ana Huna Awards to Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, actor & writer Mara Wilson,  and two Polytechnic School 2020 graduates, Saya Desai and Luisa Breen. 

Honoree Supervisor Solis will receive the 2020 Ana Huna Leadership Award for outstanding leadership  in demonstrating just how welcoming we Americans can be to new arrival families. Supervisor Solis has a long history of supporting resettling Angelenos. In May, she presented a motion to the city council to declare June as Refugee Awareness Month in Los Angeles.

Honoree Mara Wilson will receive the 2020 Ana Huna Renegade Award. She embodies the renegade spirit to face unsolvable problems with fierceness, dedication, and kindness. She is also a beacon for others who want to help. Mara volunteers as a Miry’s List family ambassador. As a result, she has helped dozens of resettling families get their first U.S. home set up to be functional and comfortable.

Honorees Saya Desai and Luisa Breen will receive the 2020 Ana Huna Fire-Starter Award for being the spark to identify the need for change and empower people to help. These remarkable Poly seniors focus on helping refugees, subsequently co-founding an on-campus club, Breaking Boundaries. The club connects students with opportunities to support and learn about refugees around the world and in Los Angeles.     

Give. Eat. Participate.                                                              

In addition, the event will include a live musical performance by teenager Delan Younes of Syria. Captivating speakers include Ahmed Abedy, Rabia Ahmadi, Abdul Ghafoor, Mara Wilson, Evan Kleiman, Milana Vayntrub and Miry Whitehill. 

To register to attend the 2020 Miry’s List World Refugee Day Awards and reserve your place at the New Arrival Supper Club at Home, please visit: bit.ly/2020worldrefugeeday

Overall, the need for Miry’s List has increased since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Refugee families – who are often low-income or otherwise part of high-risk populations – are uniquely vulnerable. The tax-deductible contributions support the core programming, so the non-profit can help 100 more families resettle in the United States in 2020. 

Other Ways To Help

  • Sign up for the Hive Around Five newsletter. Read about five new arrival families who need supplies and services to feel safe and normal. Share the newsletter and tag @miryslist and #hivearoundfive.
  • To help support the refugee community during this pandemic, please make a tax-deductible donation directly to Miry’s List. 
  • Spread the word. Share this story on your social media and tag @miryslist. Follow Miry’s List on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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About Miry’s List

Refugee families come to the United States seeking a safe haven from violence and persecution in their home countries. They leave behind family and friends, as well as virtually everything they own. Many Americans, seeing these families in their communities, wonder: What can I do to help? Miry’s List therefore provides a mechanism for people to directly help new arrival refugee families with the things that they need to get started in their new lives – from diapers to beds to cleaning supplies and toiletries.  

Miry’s List

All images via Miry’s List