My donation today: Microfiber Bed Sheets: $13.99
"You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom," wrote John Adams. "I hope you will make good use of it.
I think nothing much is new in politics or history, America has often struggled with immigration, this fear seems to come and go in waves, there is something schizophrenic about this country, we are a nation of immigrants, immigration is built into the national soul and DNA, yet refugees engender fear and resentment as well as regeneration and hope.
It makes sense, really, they are the unknown, the threat, and in our times, the very idea can sometimes seem especially dangerous and frightening It is hard for any human being to digest what we call the news every day and stay grounded.
As much as refugees are sometimes feared, they are also loved and cherished and welcomed. Your gifts to the USCRI Amazon Refugee Gift Page have been astonishing, touching and so much appreciated.
At times I have struggled to figure out how to deal with the divisions and conflicts sweeping across the country. My idea has been to not argue, but to do good. For pennies or a few dollars, I can touch the lives of suffering and good people and remind them – and me – just what is is that has made America so great.
Some of these refugees come from Syria, they must deal with great fear and confusion as well as the loss of their families, homes and savings. Your donations have touched them deeply and revealed what I believe is the true soul and spirit of America.
My answer to these difficulties, in large measure, is the gift page. Every morning, when I sit down to the computer I browse the page and donate an inexpensive gift – soccer balls, pots and pans, sheets and comforters, toothpaste and toys. So have hundreds of others, the refugee committee warehouse was overflowing.
So today I'm donating a bedsheet or two. My favorite donation is the $2 prayer rug for Muslims, I can not imagine a better way to greet people to the land of the free that helping to support their faith, their daily prayers five times a day. I hope it makes them feel welcome, I know it makes me feel good.
In recent weeks, I have been re-reading Adams, Lincoln and Jefferson seeking out their thoughts on compassion and the American spirit. Adams believed that for democracies to be preserved, citizens had to re-invent their revolution, again and again. At the core of his vision was religious tolerance and freedom. No country in the history of the earth had enshrined that idea into their vision for government.
"The United States is not a Christian notion any more than it is a Jewish or Mohammedan nation," he said. People of all faiths, he wrote, are welcome here.
Many people in America love to invoke the Constitution when it meets their needs. As with Christ, people love to evoke him, but very few seem to remember what he really stood for. It is clear to me that Jefferson, Adams and Christ himself would have welcomed these refugees.
I am honored to follow in their footsteps.
If you are so inclined, please take a look at the gift page, set up by the U.S. Committee On Refugees and Immigration. New refugees are arriving every day, they are her legally, they have been exhaustively investigated, they are no threat to you, your job, or your community.
This is a simple and inexpensive and private way to do good.
The refugees have suffered terribly, and are in need of everything. You can check out the page, and do good and honor your country by going here.