Last Friday we had a story about two former Eastern Oregon University students who helped Rohingya refugees. The Rohingya, who live in Myanmar but are considered “stateless” are considered the “most persecuted people in the world,” according to Reza Uddin, who attended EOU in the early 1990s.

Uddin and Parhez Sattar, the second EOU former student, planned a fundraiser in La Grande and raised $3,000 to help the refugees. That money paid for two outhouses and tube wells and food distribution.

According to Uddin, $60 could feed a family of six for a month. Let that sink in for a bit. That’s likely less than your grocery budget for a week.

He said a donation of $450 would pay for another well and shower for the refugees.

Times are tough. Trust me, we understand that. However, if the articles we printed or this column pulls at any heartstrings, then the 800,000 refugees sheltered in the 3,000-acre parcel of land will be a little better off.

The reason you should take heed is simple: there are people in this world who are a lot worse off than yourself.

We get so focused on our own lives that we get stuck in a bubble and don’t see how lucky we actually are. To help the refugees near Myanmar go to

For those who wish to keep their money more local, here are a few organizations in Union County you can donate to:

Community Connection: Community Connection advocates for and assists senior citizens, children, low income persons and persons with disabilities in attaining basic human needs and in becoming more self-sufficient. Community Connection works with a cooperative, statewide network of partner agencies and the Oregon Food Bank to distribute emergency food to hungry families. Their phone number is 541-963-7532

VFW Post 2990: Post 2990 is in need of monetary donations for veterans in need or distress. Their phone number is 541-805-1916.

VFW Post 4060 Food Bank: The VFW Veterans Food Bank provides for needy veterans and their families. The phone number is 541-562-6035.

Union County Safe Communities Coalition: The Safe Communities Coalition is composed of partner organizations working together to create a safe, healthy, drug-free Union County. The phone number is 541-963-1068.

Haven from Hunger at EOU: Haven for Hunger is a service learning community development project at Eastern Oregon University that offers emergency food and toiletries to families of Union County. The contact number is 541-786-3663.

Mt. Emily Safe Center: Provides comprehensive services to abused children and non-offending family members. Services include forensic child abuse assessments in a safe, child-friendly environment, counseling, advocacy, information and referral, and community and youth prevention programs. The contact number is 541-963-0602.

There are many different organizations that need your help. These are just a few. A little goes a long way, as the saying goes. Any amount of money can help a family in need — whether it’s in Southeast Asia or someone in your own community.

– Cherise Kaechele contributed to this piece.