I had this impulse two weeks ago to treat the RISSE soccer team to go and see the new Spiderman. They have been working hard and practicing hard, and winning some games.
The megaplexes close to where they live are not cheap, they never get to see movies in theaters. I did some research, checked out the price and gave a check for all of it to RISSE, the refugee and immigrant support center, so it could be an official activity and they could use the big RISSE van to get there.
I didn't feel comfortable asking people for money for that, so I decided to give this gift myself. I like to contribute also, not just use other people's money. I think this turned out to be the perfect gift, a morale booster but also an introduction to a part of American culture that I personally love – movies on a big screen.
I was a bit surprised myself at what it costs to send 14 kids to the movies and get them drinks and popcorn. I don't think even the Army of Good could pay for a trip to Yankee Stadium for the soccer team, one of my fantasies. Maybe I'll check it out.
It was worth it, Ali, (Ahmad Abdullah Mohammed), who drove them and accompanied them, said they love the movie and loved the popcorn too. These are really great kids, and it is such a pleasure to know them and see their profound connection to Ali and to one another.
Refugees often feel isolated and alienated in a new country, all of their social and cultural references are gone. They turn to one another for support and connection and community until they acclimate and enter the mainstream. These people are important to one another, and Ali has done a heroic job of keeping them together, and out of trouble, and on a solid path to assimilation.
The kids often tell me they love Ali, they can't imagine life without him. Last week, I gave $900 to RISSE, this money comes from many of you as well as me for new soccer uniforms, sound great and will have the letters "Bedlam Farm Warriors" (their choice of name, over my objections) on the front and "RISSE" on the back.
They are trying to get an image of Red on the jerseys as well. Thanks for your help, it felt so good to think of the soccer team at the movies, seeing Spiderman, which I saw a couple of weeks ago and liked a lot. Can't wait to talk to them about it. They are all coming to the farm again in a few weeks.