We recorded an original Christmas song called “It’s Christmas and I Like You” and have decided to donate all the money we make from it this Christmastime to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). We aren’t experts on this global crisis but we know enough to feel like it was important for us to help as much as we can right now.
We recognize we don’t yet have the reach to dramatically impact the funding needs of an organization like the UNHCR but with your help we are optimistic we can raise a meaningful amount. Although it depends on the specific store (Spotify, iTunes, etc.), we generally get about 70% of every download/stream of a song. To help put that in perspective you might consider that we can expect roughly $1.00 for every 200 streams on a site like Spotify. That might not seem like much but even if we get about 500,000 streams (half the number of our most popular track on Spotify) then that would mean that the amount of money you’ve helped raise could provide clothing, blankets, and warming stoves to keep 20 families warm this winter. Reaching 500,000 streams in just two weeks is certainly possible but will require your help – please join with us in helping these families, if even in this small way, simply by listening to the track, adding it to your playlists, and sharing it with your friends and family.
Included below is an official audio video made by Caitlyn Cutler (she also designed the single artwork – all for free to help the cause). The video can be a great way to spread the word to your friends and family about the track but we ask that you consider finding and streaming/downloading the song on sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. because YouTube views will not raise money to help the refugees.
For more information on the refugee crisis and the organization, we’ve included some of the most pertinent information (provided by the UNHCR):
UNHCR – Global Overview
Right now, almost 60 million people across the world have been forced to flee their homes because of war and persecution. That is the highest number since WWII. Over three quarters of them are women and children. Torn apart by watching homes destroyed, loved ones persecuted or even killed, families are forced to make their way across dangerous terrain, carrying their children and fighting to survive until they reach safety. Refugees are ordinary people living through extraordinary situations. The average time a refugee lives in exile is 15 years.
- UNHCR saves lives. UNHCR leads the global emergency response. Our staff on the frontline provide shelter, blankets, clothing and ensure vital needs such as food, water and medical care are met.
- UNHCR gives hope. We understand what refugees have been through, and what they need to carry on, including education and training for children and young people and vocational training for adults.
- UNHCR finds long-term solutions. We work to help refugees return home, or to find new homes in other countries.
UNHCR – Refugee Crisis In Europe
A humanitarian emergency is continuing to unfold across Europe.
Over half a million people have crossed the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas so far this year, fleeing war, persecution and a horrifying list of human miseries in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, and other countries. Having escaped horrendous situations in their own country men, women, the young, old and infirm feel they have no option but to further risk their lives to seek safety in Europe. Nearly 3,000 people have drowned or gone missing making the treacherous sea journey. Yet, the number of people arriving in Europe continues to rise, despite the weather and sea conditions worsening as winter approaches.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is on the ground, working around the clock providing life-saving protection to help Syrian and other refugees caught up in this crisis. We are the only organization protecting refugees and providing lifesaving assistance at every point on the journey, offering 24-hour service in many locations.
- Better protect families at the start of their journey:
UNHCR offers support and assistance to over 4 million Syrians who have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, providing basic essentials such as cash for food, shelter and medical care to struggling families in both urban and camp locations. We help children to access education, giving families another reason to stay safe in host countries.
- Assist people at the mid-point of their journey:
For those who have already left their homes or host countries for Europe, in Northern Africa UNHCR provides urgent help to the vulnerable, injured or those left destitute by smugglers. We also help people to access advice and ensure their rights to get the help they need. We have provided access to medical care for over 65,000 refugees so far, including over 11,000 children.
- Support refugees upon arrival in Europe:
At the borders, UNHCR is monitoring the situation and working to protect new arrivals by ensuring they have access to essential information (in multiple languages), asylum and emergency shelter. We also help children travelling alone by providing specialist support and care.
Regarding the current debate in the United States over the admittance of Syrian refugees into the US and how that relates to the UNHCR and our donation:
-We are aware that this is an issue that many people feel strongly about. Our goal in offering to donate to the UNHCR is simply to help people who have been displaced from their homes and are now facing winter conditions with very little to protect/support themselves. The National Parks is not aiming to advocate any specific political position.
-The UNHCR is a large organization and the circumference of their mission extends beyond the current crisis regarding Syrian refugees. Part of their mandate does involve advocacy efforts with world governments to secure destinations for displaced refugees so portions of their funding are used toward that end. That being said, it is just one of the many ways in which the organization seeks to help refugees. Another of these ways, and one that is of particular emphasis currently, is the Winterization Appeal, which deals specifically with providing clothing, shelter, stoves, etc. to refugees stuck in cold winter conditions. We have requested that the donation that comes from “It’s Christmas and I Like You” be specifically earmarked for this Winterization Appeal and the UNHCR has confirmed that they intend to honor that request. More information on the Winterization Appeal, and how you can expect this donation to be used, can be found here: UNHCR Refugee Crisis Europe-Protecting Refugees in Winter