The refugees from Myanmar and Syria have had a tough time in their lives and since they arrived here. We have been a great help to them through the pandemic; nobody died, and nobody starved.
Every refugee child who wanted to go to college went, and eight exceptionally gifted refugee children are in excellent private schools with full tuition paid.
Now, a new challenge. The Afghan refugees, newly arrived, are both in shock and great need. We have a chance to greet them warmly and give them a look at the heart of real America.
The Bishop Maginn Refugee Thanksgiving Basket Wish List is up, and I’m offering the Army of Good a four-day jump on the official launch date. You deserve it.
This Wish List is for all the refugees – including the new arrivals from Afghanistan, went up tonight. The official Wish List publication day is Wednesday, but I didn’t want to wait. Or better put, I can’t wait.
We hope to give the new refugees and the old some help and support celebrating the most American holiday, Thanksgiving. There are 18 items, ranging in price from $9.99 to $20.99. The new arrivals own nothing but the clothes on their backs.
The idea is to give them the ingredients to make their own Thanksgiving dinner. It’s also to make them feel welcome in America, something that is more of a challenge than it ought to be.
Almost all refugees struggle to acclimate to this strange and turbulent country.
Still, the Afghan refugees are hit especially hard as the refugee support infrastructure built up over the years was dismantled by the Trump administration, who sought to exclude almost all refugees from our country.
Many of these new refugees risked their lives to help America, I wish we could do more for them. We do the best we can for as long as we can.
The support system is weaker and more poorly funded than ever. They are starting from scratch. We can help a bit.
We are working with grocery stores to get turkey certificates given directly to Bishop Maginn High School, collecting the Thanksgiving basket supplies, assembling them, and distributing them.
The items are all geared towards Thanksgiving feasts and dinners, the first for many.
It’s a great welcome for new Americans, we owe them much more.
They will also be given the choice of a turkey from a grocery chain or these Thanksgiving Basket gifts or both if the chains come through.
You get the idea. This is an Amazon Wish list, which means you choose an item, one at a time, add it to your shopping cart, pay for it, and it will automatically be shipped to Bishop Maginn High School.
No middlemen, no administrators. The items are all listed in small multiples, but you can purchase them one at a time, or just one.
You can buy as much or as little as you want, and you know precisely what you are buying and where it is going. This will be the Army Of Good’s 27th wish list and one of the most significant, I think.
You shouldn’t need the address, but here it is if you want it: Thanksgiving Basket Campaign Bishop Maginn High School, c/o Sue Silverstein, 75 Park Avenue, Albany, N.Y., 12202
You can also send a check to Jon Katz. Refugee Fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.
This may be the most crucial Wish List of the year, a chance to show the new refugees and the present ones what the heart of America is truly about. About 500 are coming to Albany, more every day.
I never feel more like a patriot when we make these wish lists; this is the true America, not the one you see on the news.
The items are up and available on Amazon now; you can go right to it if you wish. I thought the Army Of Good deserves the first crack.
Almost all of the items are multiple items, and the shipping is unpredictable, so it’s good to get started. We have a chance to be first on the list. I hope it’s sold out shortly.
You can see the wish list and purchase items right now and here.
And I thank you, as always, from the bottom of my heart.
(Photo: The Bishop Maginn High School Library, and Red my late therapy dog and companion.)