5 Companies That Are Using Their Resources to Help Refugees

Whether it’s by providing housing, jobs, or donations, these companies have made a commitment to assist refugees.

Dec 30, 2015
IKEA refugee shelter

UNHCR has already ordered 10,000 of IKEA's Better Shelter's for refugees (IKEA Foundation)

As refugees continue to arrive to Europe from Syria and other war-torn countries, many individuals feel compelled to do whatever they can to help. In addition, some companies have also stepped in to contribute their resources to the refugee aid effort. Some companies pitch in by providing prospective jobs, while others distribute shelters, and all have one thing in common - a sense of responsibility to help those who need it most. The following corporations are five such companies that are using their means to make a difference.

1. UBER

WHO THEY ARE: An international transportation network that allows consumers to submit a trip request from independent Uber drivers who use their own cars.
HOW THEY’RE HELPING: On September 9, 2015, Uber launched UberGIVING, an initiative to pick up donations for refugees in Europe. Between certain hours, Uber users could hail a driver to pick up a variety of donated items for free, including personal hygiene products, blankets, and baby food.

Donations for UberGiving

Calgary Food Bank and other businesses donated goods for refugees for the UberGIVING campaign (twitter)

2. AIR CANADA

WHO ARE THEY: Canada’s largest airline.
HOW THEY’RE HELPING: Air Canada has offered to help airlift Syrian refugees out of Beirut and Lebanon. Canada plans to help resettle 25,000 refugees by the end of 2015, and commercial air carriers like Air Canada have stepped up to help. Though Canada’s government is still considering this possibility for resettlement, Air Canada has a history of helping those in need, for example when they carried food and supplies to Haiti during the 2010 earthquake.

3. IKEA

WHO ARE THEY: The multinational Swedish company that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture and other home accessories.
HOW THEY’RE HELPING: IKEA designed and developed refugee shelters that combine form, function and sustainability. Unlike the traditionally-used tents, these shelters can last up to three years and are fitted with solar panels, mosquito nets, lights, and ventilation. The lockable doors ensure privacy, as well as safety. The United Nation’s refugee agency has already placed an order for 10,000 of these shelters.

4. SODASTREAM

WHO THEY ARE: The Israel-based manufacturer of sparkling water makers.
HOW THEY’RE HELPING: SodaStream has pledged 1,000 jobs to Syrian refugees at its new factory in the Negev desert. Pending approval from the Israeli government, this move would help support at least 200 families.

SodaStream Negev Desert factory

The new SodaStream factory in the Negev Desert has pledged 1,000 jobs to refugees (timesofisrael)

5. NORDIC CHOICE HOTELS

WHO THEY ARE: One of the largest hotel chains in Scandinavia owned by Norwegian billionaire, Petter Stordalen.
HOW THEY’RE HELPING: Stordalen offered 5,000 free nights in his hotels to refugees. True to his word, he’s already housed over 50 Syrian refugees in one of his hotels near Oslo.


Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.

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