Gini Dietrich

Get Your Blue Key In Support of World Refugee Day

By: Gini Dietrich | May 18, 2011 | 

Secretary-General Visits Refugee Camps in ChadIt’s not often we talk about world news or politics on Spin Sucks, but today is a little bit different.

Today I want to bring to light an issue that most of us will never have to deal with close to home. A worldwide problem most of us will never experience. A problem so big yet most of us will never know anyone who is affected by this such as, say, cancer.

It’s refugees.

People who have to leave their homes, sometimes forcibly, and have to leave things behind…including children.

“With smooth features and a calm way about him, Abdullah Omar, 25, comes across as someone accustomed to hard choices. But the decision to send his one-year-old daughter back to war-ravaged Somalia, because he could not afford to support her, was one of the hardest he and his wife Khadija have ever faced.

That was five months ago. “There is not a night that goes by when I don’t lie awake thinking about my baby and worrying about her,” Khadija told me here at the windswept Choucha transit camp just inside Tunisia.

For the young Somali couple, it was the most challenging in a series of ordeals that they have endured in the four years since they fled Somalia – from a 10-day truck journey with people smugglers across the Sahara to serving time in detention and being hounded by racist thugs in Tripoli.”

Think about that for a minute. Even if you don’t have kids, the idea that a sibling or a cousin or a niece or nephew can’t stay with his or her parents is heart-breaking.

The Statistics

There are more than 43 million people, worldwide, who are forcibly displaced from their homes because of conflict and persecution (according to UNHCR statistics).

Think about that. That is the combined population of New York and Texas. Imagine all of those people not having anywhere to live. Not being able to return to their homes. Trying to find refuge in your basement, at your church, in your alley.

Most of us would pass those people living on the streets and assume they’re homeless because of a drug or mental health problem. But nearly 300,000 refugees live in the United States and most of us have no idea who they are or how to help them.

These are human beings. People who have had to endure, and are surviving, something we can’t even fathom.

Get Your Blue Key.

That’s why there is a need for the Blue Key campaign, which allows each of us, with only $5, to show our support both for the 43 million refugees around the world and for UNHCR and their work.

The goal is for 6,000 Americans to have a Blue Key by June 20, which is World Refugee Day. You can support these efforts by getting your Blue Key pin or pendant for $5 and wearing it to show you are a part of a growing community of refugee advocates and champions.

If you can’t donate money and wear your Blue Key, you can still help!

  • Show your support by spreading the word on the social networks. You can share the USA for UNHCR Facebook page ( and tweet about their work and the campaign using the #bluekey hashtag.
  • Donate a tweet a day to USA for UNHCR to help raise awareness on Twitter by signing up at
  • If you blog, are active online and empathize with the cause, you can join the cause as a Champion. Let me know if you’re interested.

It’s not a problem that hits close to home for most of us. It’s not a hurricane or tornado or earthquake that requires immediate help. But these people need our help.

Donate $5. Wear your Blue Key. Show your support through the social networks. And, if you’d like to get more involved, leave a comment here and I’ll get you in touch with Shonali Burke (or contact her directly).

Photo courtesy of the U.N. Iridimi Camp, Chad. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.





About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • HowieSPM

    You are such a bleeding heart Gini!But that’s a good trait!

    This stuff is really sad. We have 1 million refugees here in the US which is how many kids sleep on the street every night. My heart weeps with what happens to kids world wide who had no choice of where they were born or to whom they were born.

    One thing I can say is we have I think 2-3bil more people than the earth can handle and the UN is forecasting an additional 3 bil before we peak. Which in my opinion is going to make matters worse.

    Refreshing break from Social Media, Facebook Sleaze, Marketing and PR. Help people who need the help!

  • Gini, you are absolutely awesome. Thank you so much for doing this. @HowieSPM did you go get your key? And tell other people to do so too… please. 🙂

  • Lovely post, Gini. I really liked how you worked in the US connection, how close to home these children and families really are, and the calls to action. Would have expected nothing less! Happy to be a #bluekey champion!

  • MattLaCasse

    A great post Gini. So glad you’re on board as a #bluekey champ.

  • DonovanGroupInc

    Awesome post BFF…my colleagues at the UNHCR will be happy to hear about your words here. You #bluekey champion you.

  • I will be getting my #bluekey also. I am going over to the Facebook page to see what else I can do to help.

  • lmeling

    Thanks for the kind words and all your support!!

  • margieclayman

    Thanks so much for bringing attention to this fundraiser, Gini! I had never heard of the blue key campaign before, but it’s great to know that people are keeping refugees in mind. There are so many horrible things going on in the world, and it’s so easy to just close them out. Sometimes you need to make sure you are helping other people as you can, though.

  • balemar

    Thanks, Gini! I got my blue key (and will be wearing it). Inviting my friends now to get theirs too.

  • SJWhipp

    Thanks for this great post! Getting my #bluekey and will be sure to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and my blog.

  • A really good reminder to put my problems/ issues in perspective. going to get my Blue Key now. Thank you!

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber You have problems?! Other than your hair not curling like you want it to??

  • ginidietrich

    @SJWhipp Great! And hopefully Shonali connected with you about being a Champion!

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar Thank you!!

  • ginidietrich

    @margieclayman Thank you, too! For helping to spread the word on Twitter.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 Just don’t mention you’re from NJ. You never know how they might take that.

  • ginidietrich

    @DonovanGroupInc Thanks BFF! And thanks for passing along in Canada!

  • ginidietrich

    @MattLaCasse Just when I’d gotten used to your face as a blue key, you’re back to normal.

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison It took me twice as long to write this…I had to keep flipping to other stories to make sure I had everything correct. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali You know I would do almost anything for you, but this was an easy ask. Just like dannybrown 12for12K. Easy to support.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM HAHAHAHA! Mr. D would die to hear you call ME a bleeding heart. LOL!!

  • @ginidietrich LOL @NancyD68 So are valeriesimon and dbreakenridge . Ha!

  • @ginidietrich @balemar Ditto!

  • @ginidietrich Yup, I’m thrilled @SJWhipp has signed on. Thank you again!

  • dbreakenridge

    LOL! In the most positive way of course 🙂

  • @dbreakenridge Exactly!

  • @ginidietrich I was going to make a wisecrack about how that is a real problem, but that’s completely inappropriate on this page. So my real answer is, I’m feeling thankful that my hair is the problem I have to worry about!

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber But that is SO appropriate for Spin Sucks. So I’ll give it to you.

  • @Lisa Gerber Your hair doesn’t curl like you want it to. Mine doesn’t stay straight like I want it to. 🙁 @ginidietrich

  • @Shonali @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich well then, we both belong out west. Hair does what you tell it to out there.

  • ValerieSimon

    @Shonali @ginidietrich @NancyD68 dbreakenridge Hmmm. Just followed Nancy on Twitter. Us Jersey girls need to stick together..

  • Awh…Gini…you shouldn’t have written about me again 🙂

    #NoJoke ….refugee is in da house 🙂

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  • @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich Tell me about it. I have to use a flatiron almost every day here…

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