In 2018, immigrants made up 13.7 percent of the U.S. population — with the bulk of them migrating from countries such as Mexico, China, India, the Philippines, and El Salvador. And while settling in the U.S. can provide immigrants with new and better employment opportunities, access to world-class education, improved living conditions, and a fresh start in a new country, many still have obligations to support their families and communities back home.
Below, Community Investors shares a few of the things immigrant workers can do to support their loved ones back home — while creating a life for themselves in the United States of America.
Send Funds Back Home
If you’ve immigrated to the U.S. but have family, friends, or other loved ones to support back home, you’re not alone. According to a 2019 article published by UN News, about a billion individuals worldwide are senders or receivers of remittances. Moreover, about 800 million individuals around the world are recipients of these remittances — relying on these payments to cover essential expenses like food and housing, medical costs, education, and family emergencies.
Unfortunately, remittances can be costly to send — and some take a week or longer to process. However, an online remittance service like Remitly is a low-cost option for sending funds to loved ones back home. If you’re sending money to loved ones in Mexico, for instance, you can rest easy knowing they will receive it within minutes of completing your transaction. Transfers are quick, affordable, and secure, and there are over 40,000 cash pickup locations in the country.
Invest in Your Home Country
Remittances are advantageous for a number of reasons, but investing in your home country is another big way to support your community back home. By investing in the country where you were born, you’ll boost the local economy and education system — and support the transfer of technology to developing countries.
The team at Immigrant Finance offers a guide on investing money as an immigrant, so be sure to check this out if you’re interested in starting a business of your own or investing in stocks, mutual funds, real estate, or bonds.
Send Care Packages
In addition to sending funds back home and investing in the country where you were born, you could ship care packages to your relatives and community members back home. Here are a few items to include in these care packages:
- Women’s hygiene products, such as pads and tampons.
- Children’s toys.
- Clothing, socks, pajamas, and underwear.
- Baby formula.
- Dietary supplements like fish oil, iron, and prenatal vitamins.
When preparing your care packages, make sure the items you’re sending can be accepted overseas. The USPS Postal Explorer can help you to learn more about the mailing conditions in your home country, including any items that may be restricted or prohibited. Look for economical shipping options as well. For example, if you’re shipping a care package to India, SFL Worldwide offers discounted rates and can deliver to most parts of the country.
The Bottom Line
Each year, more than one million immigrants settle in the U.S. with dreams of building a better life for themselves and their loved ones back home. But until their families can join them in the U.S., these immigrants are responsible for supporting the loved ones they left behind, which typically requires them to send money internationally. Fortunately, affordable money transfer services help to make this possible.
Moreover, there are some other things immigrants can do to support their loved ones and community members back home. From investing in their home countries to assembling care packages for their relatives and community members back home, immigrants can support their loved ones from afar — while building a better life for themselves and their families in the United States.
Community Investors is committed to supporting struggling individuals, families, and seniors. Learn about our volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved.