The importance of fostering diverse, caring communities.
Since the creation of Puentes de Esperanza 17 years ago, Hoyleton has demonstrated a commitment to and belief in immigrants and refugees entering our communities. And now more than ever, as America gears up to accept a portion of the half a million refugees estimated to flee Afghanistan by the end of the year, we are steadfast in our belief that all people are deserving of a caring community to call home. Despite some narratives that might suggest otherwise, these are our neighbors, coworkers and friends, and their involvement in our communities is nothing if not an asset and a blessing.
As a faith-based organization, we are committed to welcoming all our neighbors, no matter who they are or where they come from. And we know that when there is increased diversity in our communities, it only strengthens them. When immigrants feel empowered to contribute, everybody benefits from the new possibilities for dialogue, creativity and expressions of care.
We see the positive impact they make in our everyday lives through their investment in our communities. They’re our neighbors volunteering alongside us, hosting BBQs, attending religious services, watching our kids play alongside theirs. And that’s not even taking into account the $2 trillion annual contribution they make to our economy. Every day, individuals who have fled their circumstances, fighting for their lives, aiming to provide a better life for their children — they’re the ones who are making a great, positive impact on our lives. They’re driving innovation, conducting critical research and saving lives. They are the thread that makes our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities and our nation better and stronger.
But even with all this greatness, we know they experience barriers every day. This is why it’s so important that immigrants and refugees in our communities know they belong, that they are welcomed with open arms. Without feeling integrated, they won’t feel safe enough to contribute their amazing talents. How we talk about the immigrants, how we engage with them, how we identify them, it matters, and it’s important. That’s why we’re focused on providing our immigrant and refugee neighbors with safe spaces where they know they belong, where they’re empowered to take part and where they can be their unique and authentic selves.
We are committed not only to helping immigrant families directly, but also to reversing stigmas and making sure we help change the language and narrative around their involvement in our communities. They belong. They are actively making a difference and changing lives. They are valued, loved and just as much a part of this country as anybody else.
As we welcome Afghan refugees into our country, we will be here advocating for their inclusion and full integration into our neighborhoods with open arms. It’s what we’ve been doing for immigrants for years and will continue to for years to come. Join us.
To learn more about how we help Spanish-speaking immigrants, visit our Puentes de Esperanza page.