Welcome.US Named 2023 “Holiday Impact Prize” Honoree by New York Times Columnist Nick Kristof for Continued Work Supporting Refugee Sponsorship

Press Release

November 20, 2023


Welcome.US recognized in back-to-back years with annual award that raises millions and recruits thousands of volunteers for featured organizations

WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the second year in a row, Welcome.US was recognized as one of the nation’s top organizations to donate time and resources to by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in his annual holiday giving guide. Welcome.US was named a 2023 Holiday Impact Prize honoree for its ongoing work facilitating the private sponsorship of refugees seeking safety in the United States, and is the only volunteer opportunity to be featured alongside this year’s three donation-focused winners.

The 2023 honorees were selected as part of a special readers’ favorites edition, which also include CAMFED, OneGoal, and Per Scholas. Since 2019, the Holiday Impact Prize and the special edition C-19 Impact Initiative have together raised over $34 million and recruited over 4,600 volunteers for featured organizations. The Holiday Impact Prize is supported by Focusing Philanthropy.

“The holidays are a time when we can come together and try to help others. I’m grateful to supporters who have made it possible for the Holiday Impact Prize to continue into this fifth year. Your contributions have aided remarkable organizations working to make the world a better place,” said Nicholas Kristof. “I’m delighted to welcome back a few organizations that readers particularly loved so we can help the most people possible this holiday season.”

Kristof continued, “I’m inspired by the Welcome.US mission of empowering everyday Americans to sponsor refugees and help them integrate into local communities. I exist because of such generosity, for American sponsors welcomed my dad as a refugee after World War II. As the war in Ukraine persists, we have an opportunity to offer warmth and community to individuals and families looking for a bridge to safety.”

“Welcome.US is incredibly grateful to be recognized as the top organization for Americans to volunteer their time and resources. Over the past two years, thousands of Americans have raised their hands to welcome and support those fleeing violence and persecution, yet there is still an urgent need for more people to serve as sponsors, providing a much needed bridge to safety for refugees as they rebuild their lives in the United States,” said Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US. “The Kristof Holiday Impact Prize has allowed Welcome.US to grow and scale the work we do to respond to the global displacement crisis we are facing with dignity and compassion—and uplift entire communities in the process.”

Kristof spotlights the continued work by Welcome.US to inspire, recruit, and mobilize Americans to sponsor refugees as they build new lives in communities across the United States, providing a bridge to safety for individuals and families forced to flee their homes. Founded in response to the extraordinary challenge of resettling Afghan evacuees after the fall of Kabul in 2021, Welcome.US quickly expanded its work in 2022 to help welcome Ukrainians displaced by war and again in 2023 with the addition of new government programs that allowed private citizens to sponsor eligible individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and from around the world through the Welcome Corps.

In just two years, nearly 2 million Americans have raised their hands to participate in sponsorship, yet there is still an urgent need for sponsors to provide critical support to refugee families. This year, the United States is projected to provide safety to as many as 500,000 newcomers, with over 80 percent finding refuge through community sponsorship. The number of Americans that signed up to sponsor refugees in the first 18 months since the private sponsorship programs launched is more than the U.S. government has admitted in the last 20 years combined.

The support that sponsors provide can take many forms, including help with furnishing a home, job applications, enrolling children in school, grocery shopping, doctor visits, getting a driver’s license, and more.

Americans can learn more about becoming a sponsor by visiting Welcome.US and signing up to connect a refugee seeking a sponsor in the United States through the online Welcome Connect platform.

Those looking to make a difference can donate or sign-up to volunteer through January 31, 2024 by visiting KristofImpact.org. For more information, read Kristof’s 2023 holiday giving column in The New York Times.

About Welcome.US

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. We are not an advocacy organization or an operational agency providing direct services to newcomers. 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 the 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.

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.

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