How Cities Like St. Louis Are Helping Families Welcome Refugees

How Cities Like St. Louis Are Helping Families Welcome Refugees

Interest in immigration and refugees has been on the rise in recent months. Not that this should come as a surprise: Recent statisticsshow that cities like Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; and St. Louis experienced notable increases in foreign-born residents from 2015 to 2016, to the tune of 15.4 percent, 6.6 percent, and 4.3 percent, respectively.

In this environment, plenty of people wonder how best to help people coming to start new lives in America. Parents especially are trying to figure out how to guide their children toward lending helping hands to those in their communities who were not born in the U.S.

What mothers and fathers are realizing is that getting their families engaged in the process of assisting diverse residents in their cities isn’t difficult. In fact, plenty of major cities are already putting in place programs and initiatives for just this purpose. Consider these straightforward methods of promoting a welcoming and inclusive mindset among kids and teens with help from local community efforts.

1. Cultural events and fundraisers.

St. Louis’s respected International Instituteeases the way for refugees and immigrants to feel more at home in the city through a number of efforts, such as contacting local international grocery stores to ensure a supply of a newly arrived group’s preferred ingredients, providing education on citizenship and language, and training refugees for employment.

Although volunteering at International Institute gatherings is always a help, it’s not necessary to foster a sense of interest in foreign-born populations among kids and adults. Just showing up at the International Institute’s activities (like its International Bazaar or Festival of Nations) shows solidarity for the organization’s mission to accommodate new arrivals. Individuals can look for similar opportunities in their area to support immigrants and refugees in any capacity they can.