17,000 miles in solidarity – #40Miles4Refugees

18 November 2020

Over the last 40 daysmore than 400 JRS friends and supporters logged over 17,000 miles in solidarity with refugees. The miles were logged as part of JRS/USA’s  virtual walk-a-thon leading up to JRS Day to celebrate our 40th Anniversary on Saturday, November 14.  We encouraged participants to walk, run, or move in any way they liked for 40 miles. We also proposed that participants can make this challenge a spiritual journey as a way to offer prayers for refugees and migrants. This virtual challenge served as a way for the JRS communityregardless of where everyone is located, to stand in solidarity with the almost 80 million forcibly displaced people today.

We encouraged everyone to share their experiences on social media and tag us. Here is a round-up of some of our favorite highlights: 

This JRS participant completed their 40 miles with a friend. 

Lucas, another 40Miles4Refugees participant describes what the challenge means to him and for his advocacy: 

The JRS #40Miles4Refugees challenge has been a breath, perhaps some very heavy and fatigued breaths, of fresh air at a time of great turbulence and uncertainty. Currently in confinement in France, the challenge has helped me escape from the small world we are restricted to and to refocus on the larger global issues at hand, such as the challenges 80 million refugees and displaced people face every day. Thank you JRS for 40 years of service and advocacy to the most vulnerable. I look forward to being a part of the solution for the next 40.
Lucas, 40Miles4Refugees participant

Participants also got their children involved in getting in some steps. 

One participant even completed part of their 40 miles at an orchard. 

Another JRS participant talks about what they have been reflecting on during this challenge: 


The #40Miles4Refugees challenge has been a good experience that has pushed me to actively schedule and dedicate some time to go outside for long walks, spend more time at local parks, and appreciate the present moment. Receiving refugee stories each week has provided an opportunity to reflect on what displacement looks like on the individual scale, and how there are many in the world dedicated to responding to and preventing forced migration.
40Miles4Refugees Participant

Walking and running were not the only options, as these participants rowed for refugees. 

Another participant shares a photo appreciating the fall season while completing the 40 miles. The quote they shared on the photograph says, “Walking for those who walk tirelessly. For the opportunity to live a better life”.  

Thank you so much to everyone who participated. This challenge allowed for JRS to connect with supporters of our mission to accompany, serve, and advocate on behalf of displaced people as we moved more than 17,000 miles together.