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Berlin, Germany

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The Black Market Boutique - Refugees Welcome Support

Saturday, 05 December 2015

Syrian refugees in the chilly European winter

When we turn on the news, read a newspaper or scroll through our newsfeed on Facebook, amongst cat vids and friends’ traveling pics are articles on the Syrian refugee crisis. Not only are there 4.3 million refugees continuing to flee war and persecution, 6.6 million are displaced within Syria. And with the freezing winter around the corner, many children, women and men will lack basic winter necessities most of us take for granted such as warm clothes, a blanket and shelter above their heads.

Flüchtlinge Willkommen, also referred to as Refugees Welcome is a Berlin based website that helps refugees find a place to stay for free by connecting them with hosts. For the month of December, 5% of The Black Market’s profits will be donated to help Refugees Welcome expand internationally. So far they’ve found homes for nearly 500 refugees across Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands, to name a few.

The Black Market HQ is newly and proudly based in Berlin. And while this city is infamous for its clubs, art culture and youth attired in black clothes, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover a humble place of sharing and generosity. Every week I get invited to club nights, art events and workshops, all wanting to raise money to help refugees assimilate into German culture. There are countless Facebook groups to teach German and websites such as My Vostel, who make volunteering as easy as a click of a mouse.

Still, I know many people who want to help, but don’t think they can – either because they’re inexperienced or because they lack the time. Especially amidst the Christmas present shopping, holiday drinking, studies, work… time always feels so limited around the holiday season. Shamefully, I fall into this category. Sure, I used to help feed the homeless back in Sydney’s King’s Cross during my High School years, however since then, i’ve made the odd donation to support friends’ charity marathons.

Millennials have a bad reputation. Those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s are often stereotyped as being lazy, selfish and privileged. And while there may be some truth in this, new research also describes us as the “giving generation,” as we are volunteering and donating more than ever… for a cause we’re passionate about. So go onto Google and find out how you can help out locally as we link arms and strive to solve the refugee crisis together.

The Black Market