Welcome.US Named '2022 Holiday Impact Prize' Honoree by New York Times’ Nick Kristof for Work on Sponsorship of Refugees

Press Release

November 28, 2022


Campaign encourages Americans to support newcomers by signing up as sponsors this giving season

WASHINGTON, D.C.—This weekend, Welcome.US was named a “2022 Holiday Impact Prize” honoree by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nick Kristof in his annual holiday giving guide. Welcome.US is highlighted as one of just two organizations for people looking to donate their time to make a difference in their communities this holiday season. Kristof spotlights Welcome.US’ work to inspire more Americans to step up as sponsors for refugees, providing a bridge to safety for refugees forced to flee their homes. In addition to being the lifeline to newcomers seeking refuge in the United States, sponsors provide advice and support on day-to-day tasks like school enrollment, applying for jobs, setting up doctor visits and much more as newcomers are welcomed into their new communities.

“As the son of a refugee, I’m inspired by the Welcome.US mission of empowering everyday Americans to welcome refugees and help them integrate into local communities. There are thousands of Ukrainian and Venezuelan refugees seeking a lifeline, and by signing up as a sponsor you can give immigrants the chance to rebuild their lives and enrich your own,” said Kristof. 

“In the last year, we’ve seen an incredible number of everyday Americans step up to help Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers seeking refuge in the United States, including through sponsorship. These Americans provided a lifeline to people fleeing war, violence, and oppression. There are still many more in need of safety, and they can only find it with the support of a sponsor here in the United States. We know there are thousands of Americans who want to help—they just need to know how. We are grateful that Mr. Kristof’s beloved column on how to do good in the world this holiday season will help us spread the word on how Americans can get involved, and highlight the life-changing impact sponsors can have for newcomers in urgent need of refuge,” said Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US. 

Global displacement is at an all-time high, with 100 million people displaced around the world due to war, political and economic instability. The fall of Kabul, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and life-threatening violence and political oppression in Venezuela has created humanitarian crises that quickly overwhelmed the traditional resettlement infrastructure, which had in the previous year welcomed just over 11,000 refugees. It also created the tipping point for change. 

The U.S. government recently created new private sponsorship programs, like Uniting for Ukraine, that enables everyday Americans to tangibly and directly support people forced to flee their homes. In the first six months of the Uniting for Ukraine program, more than 150,000 Americans signed up to be sponsors. The success of Uniting for Ukraine prompted the launch of a new sponsorship program for displaced Venezuelans last month. Private sponsorship allows Americans to tangibly and directly support people forced to flee their homes because of war, violence, oppression, or the impacts of climate change, by helping them get back on their feet, discover their new community, and gain independence even more quickly with the help of a friend and a guide. Sponsorship is a life-changing opportunity, and thousands of Americans have signed up to do it. This welcoming work not only changes the life of those welcomed, it enriches the life of the Welcomer.

Americans can learn more about becoming a sponsor at Welcome.US and sign up to connect with refugees seeking a sponsor in the United States via its online Welcome Connect platform.

About Welcome.US and the Holiday Impact Prize

At Welcome.US, our mission is to unleash the desire and capacity of Americans to welcome newcomers and help them thrive. We operate on the evidence that direct participation with newcomers transforms both the welcomer and those being welcomed. By making it easier for Americans from all walks of life to participate in the work of welcoming—and telling their stories—we are building a movement that celebrates America’s welcoming spirit by providing an opportunity to serve for all who seek to welcome. Our diverse community of Welcomers reaches across real and perceived divides to meet the needs of newcomers more effectively. In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, diaspora organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is a single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States.

To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit welcome.us.

About the Holiday Impact Prize Since 2009, Kristof has written an annual “holiday gift guide” column to highlight little-known organizations working to make the world a better place. He began writing the gift guide to bridge a philanthropic gap: readers who wanted to help but didn’t know how, and heroic individuals and organizations who desperately needed resources but were off donors’ radar.

The Holiday Impact Prize and Kristof’s column featuring the prize’s honorees has helped raise the profiles of organizations that work on the very issues he covers in his journalism—health, education, climate, human rights, and women’s rights, both domestically and abroad. Since 2019, the Holiday Impact Prize and the special edition C-19 Impact Initiative have together raised over $27 million and recruited over 3,000 volunteers for the featured organizations.

Focusing Philanthropy—a 501(c)3 nonprofit that finds and funds high-impact, scalable programs here and around the world—is providing the platform for this initiative by processing readers’ contributions, monitoring and reporting on results, and replenishing credit card transaction costs of donations made on KristofImpact.org so that 100 cents on the dollar will support the winning organizations.

More information about Nicholas Kristof’s Holiday Impact Prize and Focusing Philanthropy can be found at KristofImpact.org.

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