Right now the news is not good.
Refugee agencies across our country are closing. Support systems are failing. You sometimes hear people blaming refugees for the very evils they are trying to flee. And just as the number of refugees worldwide is increasing (70 million and counting, fully 1% of the world’s population), powerful voices in our own government are openly saying they hope to never see another refugee set foot on American soil. They don’t want to hear about refugees succeeding.
We chose the theme “Come Together” for our 2018 report because coming together is perhaps what we do best. It’s our open secret sauce: gathering from many different places — young and old, rich and poor, from the right and the left, from different faiths and world views—to make sure that the most vulnerable among us have the chance to find work, pay their bills, and rebuild their lives.
Our work has always felt important. Day in and day out, it is joy-filled. We feel lucky to cook and pack and laugh alongside some amazing people who have as much to teach us as they have to learn.
But with each passing day we realize that it is also urgent: right here, right now, is a critical moment for refugees. Most Americans don’t realize what is happening. Others are not sure what to do. This is our core message: You CAN do something to support and welcome refugees. You can do it every day.
Take a moment to look at the faces in this report. And as you savor a cup of our coffee or snack on one of our granola bars (or send a gift, or volunteer, or speak up) know that this is YOUR work too. So much needs to be done. But together we’re investing in thesenew American stories of hope growing, families belonging, and communities coming together. For that we are very thankful.
Keith Cooper, Executive Director
B. Allyn Copp, Chair