Help Lush Support Refugee Welcome

 Shop. Support refugee welcome. Target a new employment partner!

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Lush store window welcoming refugees in Arabic and English.

Until February 28, UK-based cosmetics company Lush is advocating for welcoming refugees.  Lush store windows and in-store displays feature welcome messages in Arabic and English and include note cards for customers to write their own welcoming messages for refugees.

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The company was inspired to launch the campaign after the U.S. and Canada announced plans last year to welcome refugees fleeing the ongoing violence in Syria. Canada vowed in November to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in the country by the end of February, while the U.S. pledged last September to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of September 2016.

“When we look back 10, 15 or 20 years [from now] on this crisis, we’ll know that we took the right action, that we stood to welcome [them], and that we’re on the right side of history,” says Coleen Pickard, who is responsible for researching and launching Lush’s ethical campaigns, in an article in

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Lush staff, like those in my favorite Baltimore store, are enthusiastic and well-informed about refugees, making them the perfect job development target right now!

Move Lush to the top of your job development target list and bring the resumes of qualified customer service candidates to their retail stores. Staff in the stores are enthusiastic and well-informed about the cause.  Now’s the time to discuss hiring opportunities!

Consider using this amazing example of employer advocacy to encourage other employment partners to promote refugee welcome, as well.  Click here to read how to get your own Refugees Welcome window stickers from to make it easy for employment partners to speak up, too.


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Friday Feature: Soup for Syria

soupforsyriaClick here to support Syrian refugees, stay warm as winter settles in and buy holiday presents at the same time.

Nearly 80 acclaimed chefs have contributed soup recipes for a humanitarian cookbook project whose profits will be donated to UNHCR to provide urgently needed food relief for Syrian refugees.

(On occasional Fridays, we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)


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How the Refugee Employment Network Can Help Syrians NOW

Tsyria-map-21he Obama administration will increase the number of refugees the United States is willing to accept in 2017 to 100,000, a significant increase over the current annual worldwide cap of 70,000. Under the plan, the limit on visas for refugees would be increased to 85,000 in 2016 from 70,000 now. Syrians would be among the beneficiaries.” Click here to read the NY Times report about yesterday’s announcement from Secretary of State John Kerry.

We’re all at the front line of the U.S. response to the growing global refugee crisis that includes Syrians, Eritreans, Rohingya and many more.  We’re already in the midst of a surge in arrivals, many of whom need our service to successfully enter the U.S. workforce with a strong foundation for future career laddering and community integration.

If you’re like me, you’re feeling like a potential super hero and a deer caught in the headlights.

You’ve got this.

Our commitment, creativity, employer partners and employment service delivery expertise are assets that make a difference in refugee lives every day. We have a proven track record of adjusting all of these assets to accommodate new client populations.

The current Syrian crisis is unique, but the need for flexible, culturally-appropriate service delivery is the same. The most important thing we can all do is focus on what we know works for our clients no matter their country of origin.

The crisis is still growing.  There are no easy answers and our work won’t be easy, either.  Here are three places to start:

  1. You’re already innovating in response to the arrivals surge.  Find out about some of the strategies others are using in a previous Higher blog post.  
  2. Capitalize on growing public awareness about the global refugee crisis to deepen and expand your network of employer partners. Employers want to respond to the crisis, but might not know how.  As always, you can offer them solutions. Hiring and integrating refugees into their workplaces now will expand opportunities for refugees – including Syrians – as arrivals increase.
  3. Conduct an objective assessment of your services, policies and processes.  Small adjustments or enhancement to case documentation protocols, intake and assessment processes, job readiness class curriculums and your own skills will all add up to increased efficiency and effectiveness for all of your clients now and going forward.   
What are you doing to prepare for increased arrivals and a new Syrian population?  How can Higher support you? Tell us at






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