By: Ayren Jackson-Cannady

There’s something about moving–about disrupting the long-held location of your dishes, your gardening tools, your accent pillows and throw rugs, your kid’s LEGO collection–that can make you all shaky and vulnerable.

My 80-something year old grandmother, who has lived in her home for nearly three decades, is moving. She’s just going up the road to live with my parents, but the simple fact that she’ll be leaving so much behind–furniture, books, a doll collection–has left her out of sorts emotionally and physically. They’re just things, but they are things that are connected to memories…a bed that nearly every one of her grandkids has jumped on, a crossword puzzle book that her husband worked through while watching the evening news, a doll wearing an elaborate tutu that her mother crocheted. Figuring out the few things to keep from the hundreds of things that she’s had a reason to keep up until now has proven near impossible.

I’ve moved 15 times (true story). And while I should be used to it by now, I still feel a shower of anxiety wash over me when a moving truck pulls into the driveway. I can’t even imagine the unsettling feeling of being told that you have to grab a few things from your home and move to another country. Now.

Such is the realization of many refugees.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

Locally and globally, the Rising Conference 2017 is supporting men, women, and children refugees who need to leave their homes to survive. In the Washington, DC area we have the opportunity to support refugee families who are resettling here. These are families who have been forced to leave their homes due to unimaginable circumstances of war and persecution. We are partnering with organizations that welcome and assist families in our metro DC area as they arrive to a new environment and culture.

How can you help?

Bring new items, from the list below, with you to the Rising Conference on May 26 – May 27. There will be representatives from local organizations available to tell you all about their work and how to get more involved.

What can you bring?

  • House hold cleaning items (cleaning wipes, trash bags, paper towels, sponges and all purpose cleaner)
  • Linens (pillows, wash cloths, hand towels, bath towels and sheets)
  • Toiletry items (toilet paper, kleenex tissues, tooth brush & paste, shampoo & conditioner, soaps & body wash)
  • Gift cards (Metro Smart trip cards, Target, Wal-mart and Grocery stores)


Ayren Jackson-Cannady is a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to various publications and websites, including, the New York Times, Real Simple, and Glamour. She loves Ethiopian coffee, DIY manicures and weekend road trips to anywhere. Ayren, who attends the Kingstowne campus of Capital City Church, lives in Arlington, Va. with her husband John and their two hilarious kids. Follow her on Instagram @ayrenjc.


The Rising is going to be a life changing weekend with hundreds of girls, plus guest speakers Holly Wagner, Lisa Bevere and Jo Saxton. Who are you bringing? Don’t wait to REGISTER!

“Conference has always been a ton of fun to serve at! I know it’s made a huge impact on many women who show up not knowing what to expect and leave feeling refreshed and inspired!” –Liz