Youjin Kwon wrote -
Please join us in supporting International Rescue Committee’s effort to resettle refugees!
As a first generation immigrant, I have been saddened by the tone of our national conversation in the past weeks. Ten years ago, my family moved from South Korea to the United States. We were not fleeing persecution. We came to the United States hoping to improve our quality of life. Rather than being turned away or interrogated, we were welcomed by many friends. My brother and I received quality educations from Temple and Penn State that have helped us become a pharmacist and an actuary. We are now happy to call Chalfont, Pennsylvania our home.
I was inspired to start this page after speaking recently with my Muslim friend, Munjireen. She told me about how she expected difficulties on an upcoming trip despite being a US citizen, born and raised in the United States. Of course, we all want to live in a safe country. But, I can only imagine the trepidation that refugee families must be feeling if my American friend was feeling anxious about traveling just because of her religion.
Through IRC, we can help many people resettle in the U.S. and other countries. They will be able to reach safety and build new homes, where their children will be able to attend schools. I have experienced first hand how challenging it can be to come to a new place without speaking the native language or sharing the familiar custom. I want to contribute more in the future. A donation is just a small way we can attach an act of affirmation to our welcoming heart.
As a small thank you for your contribution, I will send you a postcard from my upcoming trips to Utah, Washington, and California!
As Youjin has mentioned, I was born and raised in the US; specifically Williamsport, PA; my parents moved there from Bangladesh in pursuit of receiving a stellar education for themselves and their future children, which we have been fortunate enough to take advantage of. My siblings are both physicians and I just earned my MPH and am going on to pursue a PhD in Public Health; we all have the same goal of helping others. It's true that I am slightly nervous about an upcoming trip I'm taking, having heard reports that Muslim citizens are being interrogated about their political and religious views. However, my apprehension is nothing compared to what refugees are going through. I know that I have somewhere I belong (thanks to friends who have reached out to me in these times and to the MANY people protesting to show that Muslims are indeed welcome in the U.S., in fact I've never before felt this overwhelming support before). This feeling- knowing you have a place to call home- isn't the case for refugees, and this is why my heart goes out to them. When people are in need, no matter what race or religion they are, they should be given help. I'm asking that for my birthday this year, rather than giving me food (because we all know how much I love to eat) or a gift, that you make a small donation to support this cause. I hope we will be able to provide some sort of support to those who need it.