As New Refugees Come, How Will Montanans Welcome Their Arrival?
As I was walking into church this past Sunday, I noticed there were some pamphlets next to the weekly program talking about helping out the refugees that are being relocated here in Montana.
I feel a little bit embarrassed to admit that I wasn't really familiar with the situation.
The refugees, which will re-locate to a few different Montana cities according to KBZK, are coming from Afghanistan and will arrive with very few if any personal belongings or items. Because of this, there are several different groups that are looking to help. In fact, you can click here to see the different groups that are looking for donations and what people can do to help.
That got me thinking about a couple of things, to be honest.
First, the Christian in me needs to do my part to make folks feel welcome and if I'm in a position to help someone, I should. Second, how will the people of Montana feel about our state's newest residents?
It's not a big secret that there is certainly a group of Montanans that aren't real welcoming when it comes to new residents of the state. As someone that lived in Montana moved away and then moved back, I've certainly got my share of "go back where you came from" and "you're not welcome here" comments.
Although in all fairness, about 95 percent of all of those comments come from online.
When it comes to meeting people face to face, Montanans are some of the nicest folks I've come across. I've found most Montanans to be welcoming and kind. They are quick to say hello and quicker to offer help if you need it. While there will no doubt be those small-minded people that feel the need to share their opinions, I think most folks will understand the situation.
The situation is that these folks are here because they have no other place to go. They are in a strange land with strange new faces and are no doubt, scared. While it is easy to resort to stereotypes and pre-fabricated opinions, let's try and remember that no matter what, the right thing is to help those in need.
Once again, for those looking to help there are several different groups around the state that will be taking donations. If you would like to donate, please click here.