Immigrants: They’re Also Here to Give Back

Daniel Rearick, Uniting NC | July 2, 2013

Photo: Uniting NC

Photo: Uniting NC

As originally published on the Uniting NC website:

Last Saturday we continued our series of service events bringing together immigrants and non-immigrants to give back to their community. And again the response was wonderful. This time we had over 30 volunteers from 10 different countries all working together on a community farm that provides fresh produce to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina.

We sometimes hear cynics tell us that people are coming to the U.S. looking for handouts. They emphasize costs without considering contributions. But have they ever met the people they’re talking about? Anyone with us on the farm on Saturday would have seen a hard-working group of volunteers giving up their Saturday to pick blueberries; plant sweet potatoes, melons, tomatoes and peppers; weed row after row of new crops; and generally do whatever was needed.

And this generosity is by no means limited to a Uniting NC event. Why is that? Because it’s that same hard-working, giving nature that brings immigrants in the first place — to provide for their families and support those who stayed behind.

We’ve had volunteers who were native North Carolinians and ‘Yankee’ transplants; young people who came here to study and are now successful professionals; and many recent immigrants and refugees who are still struggling to get by. It’s amazing how eager they are to help, particularly those still working hard themselves to reach the American Dream.  For those who think of being helpful and giving as core American attributes, then these volunteers are already as American as can be.

By Daniel Rearick, Uniting NC

Learn more about the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program office in Durham, N.C. and its mission of welcoming immigrants and refugees.