Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful for Immigrants

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and giving thanks. When I woke up this morning, I thought about the things I am thankful for: my husband and wonderful children, my extended family (and that we live close to one another), my job at a great university, and my supportive friends and neighbors. I am also thankful for America's immigrants. They touch my life, and all our lives, in ways that I know, and millions of ways that I will never know.

I'm also thankful for the volunteers who work with immigrants every day. For several years I volunteered with an organization, La Comunidad Hispana, in Kennett Square. My colleagues worked long hours, for salaries that were well below what they could have earned elsewhere, to assist the newly arriving immigrants and their families as they adapted to life in the U.S. It is not necessarily the efforts of the professional social service providers that reach out to our immigrants. This morning's Washington Post has a great feature article on Corey Meyers, a teacher at Arlington Virginia's Gunston Middle School. Ms. Meyers and her colleagues hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon this week to welcome new immigrant children and their families, and to introduce them to the American customs we associate with Thanksgiving.

So, as I prepare my contributions for my family's Thanksgiving dinner later this afternoon, I am also thankful for my fellow citizens who go out of their way to make our immigrants feel welcome here, and hope that others will follow their example.

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