Sunday, December 16, 2007
A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Wish to all
As I reflect on this past year a lot of wonderful things have happened with the Faribault Diversity Coalition and all people in Faribault. This past week talking to several people have renewed my faith in what we are doing and what we are about.
This week I asked Abdullah Anhared from the Somali Community Resettlement Service how we fared with Owatonna, Rochester and other cities in the area. While stating that there still needs to be more education with service providers dealing with the immigrant population he feels that Faribault is more accepting and friendlier towards the newcomers. Abdullah feels that this city is far ahead of some of our sister cities in our attitude and acceptance towards the rising immigrant population.
Friday night I was talking to a gentleman from Montgomery who came to town for the first time in quite a while and noticed a large population of new immigrants and how friendly everyone was while walking down the street and entering the shops. He said the immigrants and local townspeople were very cordial and greeted him with a smile as they met him on the street.
It was especially heartwarming last week when I sent out an emergency email asking for clothes for a new refuge family that just came to town and had no warm clothes. Some Angels from South Central College went out and immediately bought brand new clothes and dropped them off at the print shop and within two hours the family had warm bodies and warmer hearts. Several people have been dropping off more clothes for kids and they have been warming kids all over town thanks to the generosity and kind souls of this community.
These are three examples along with the success this year of the Garden Project, International Market, Talking Circles, Warm Clothing Drive, When Africa meets Faribault forum, Welcome Center outreach efforts, emergency food shelf and great dialogue on the blog from a story I wrote sparking some thoughts about immigration issues.
Most of these things are due in part to Bob Kell being full time as Director of the Welcome Center thanks to a Grant from Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, Foldcraft, and other help from local organizations, United Way of Faribault, business’s, Church’s, the City of Faribault, and all the great volunteers. Bob has been able to coordinate all the projects thrown at him by a great Board of Directors, Luis Aguila, Kymn Anderson, Vicky Carrillo, Shirley Drentlaw, Delane James, Milo Larson, Joseph L. Mbele, Lou Stender and Pat Wieseler. Thanks to the Board for taking on many of the projects
I thank each and every one of you for all your support and contributions these past several years. The great thing about this very passionate Diversity Coalition is it’s not just the holiday season that these great and generous things happen but it’s year around. 24/7 you are all making this city a healthier, harmonious, and gentler place.
I wish to also thank the Faribault Daily News and all of you for taking the positive roll in reporting, talking and setting a good example for our children and the rest of the world. Let us be an example of love for all human beings.
We have a lot of work left to do, there is still mistrust, fear of the unknown and lack of education for all so my hope for the coming year is to continue setting a good example and continue doing the simple things and reaching out to all people.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Rehus-Beal-Ledeats, Feliz Navidad, Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny, Novy Rok, Glædelig Jul, Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!or Zalig Kerstfeast, Mele Kalikimaka, Froehliche Weihnachten, Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, Buone Feste Natalizie, Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay, Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, God Jul or Gledelig Jul, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie, Chung Mung Giang Sinh, Cestitamo Bozic, God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År, La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou, Feliz Natal, Maligayan Pasko!, Merry Keshmish, Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto, Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova, Kala Christouyenna!, Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo, Gesëende Kersfees. and many more around the world wishes.