Phone and Fund Donation Drive for Asylum Seekers in Chicago

Florida and Texas have been sending refugees to sanctuary cities, including Chicago. More than 9,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since August of last year, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing asylum-seekers to sanctuary cities as a protest against immigration policies. Not only is the journey to the U.S. often dangerous, but once refugees arrive, they can face language barriers, legal challenges, and financial difficulties.

Public Media Institute is working to get these recent refugees working phones with SIM cards, something our mutual aid buddies across the city have let us know there is urgent need for as other nonprofits and community groups are working to get asylum seekers’ basic needs met.



With the help of Illinois Humanities , PMI acquired 100 SIM cards but have only been able to activate a small portion of them.

We are raising funds to purchase new phones, SIM cards, and phone plans for the asylum seekers. Activating one phone with a SIM card and a 3-month phone plan for a refugee family costs $50, and buying a phone and SIM card is also $50.

We're offering donation levels of $25, $50, $100, and $200 for your generous support, but we can of course put even bigger donations to good use.

Please donate what you can to help us get more phones out to these new neighbors in need.

And/or your old phones will really help us too!



If you have an old phone you've been holding onto, please consider donating it to someone in need. Specifically, if it's an iPhone, we're looking for iPhone 7 and up.

In exchange for the phones, you can have your very own Buddy stickers and enamel pin when you drop off your old phone 📱🤳

Link in bio on how to wipe your old phones of all personal data:

You can drop off phones and make financial donations at Buddy during open hours, Tue - Sun 11am - 5pm.

Deadline for phone drop-off and fund donations: August 4th, Friday 5pm.