As I listen to the news these days, I find myself feeling helpless, casting about for ways to make a difference. Over lunch with my sister today I realized that, while I can’t stop the bombs from falling in Ukraine, there is a way that we can at least help pave the way for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are fleeing the conflict and will soon end up in our communities, so many of them children.
It’s simple. Purchase copies of Hello! A Welcoming Story and donate them to your local elementary school or public library. It is the perfect tool for teachers, counselors, and librarians to use to help ensure that these youngsters are welcomed and accepted.
How? Take a peek and see how this two-in-one picture book tells the powerful story of refugee children from two points of view: through the eyes of the newcomers and through the eyes of their new classmates. This fosters the empathy needed for genuine acceptance and inclusion, empathy that, if learned as a child, may well carry over into adulthood.
My sister asked me how many copies I had with me and bought every one of them. She intends to donate them to three elementary schools and two public libraries in Niagara Falls, NY. How many schools and libraries in your community would be thrilled to have a way to help ensure that frightened, overwhelmed children are welcomed?
Watch the Passionate Living TV segment that aired this week in which Gina Lewis and María José Campos talk about how and why they wrote and illustrated this poignant and important book. Then help it serve its purpose. Make a difference by donating the books you buy directly to schools and libraries in your community. Every book purchase dwill also benefit the Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation.
We must protest the violence but while it persists, the least we can do is welcome the children who seek refuge from it in our communities.