Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I see, what I hear….

Last Thursday the IRC had its usual staff meeting where all the staff, from all the different departments get together to make announcements, get updates and generally check-in with one another; usually a time for quick announcements and general merriment. Last Thursday a discussion was started by our Director announcing that the state of Texas program to find refugees jobs was no done, funds were exhausted and jobs were scarce. The question was posed should we still be sending refugees to Texas for resettlement. After the initial joke that no one should be sent to Texas period, the real discussion began. It was like being back in my International Relations classes at Calvin. Should we, shouldn’t we debate then ensued with interesting and thoughtful points. The room, full of non-profit workers, many of whom themselves came to this country as a refugee, all basically agreed that living in safety without a job was still better than living in war torn Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Burma or any other country around the globe in turmoil.

On the way to work I pass by a few churches, food banks and general non-profits. A couple of times a week there will be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people lined up outside a few of these buildings. Food distribution brings out the hungry and the humble. Monday I stood outside in pouring rain, cold temperatures and a strong blistering wind did not stop people from lining up to receive free food. San Diego County has one of the lowest rates of food stamp applicants. As a result we have lots of hungry people. People who are willing and more than wanting enough to stand outside on a miserable morning to collect a weeks worth of fresh produce and groceries.


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