For many, the holiday season is a joyous time. Like you, as snow swirls around us, I will gather my loved ones close to celebrate our cherished family traditions and express gratitude for the year’s good fortune.
As Neighborhood House enters its 120th year, we have so much to be grateful for.
Moving to a new community can be a challenge. Starting over in a new country is overwhelming. The pressure of learning a new language, cultural system, and adapting to our infamous northern winters, is tremendous. For over a century Neighborhood House has been a beacon of hope, a safe haven for thousands of refugee families who journey to St. Paul in search of a better life.
In our earliest days, Russian Jews fleeing violence in their homeland found solace and community around our hearth. By the late 1970’s Hmong families sought comfort in stories and traditions shared by the fireside. Today, a gas flame has replaced traditional wood-burning, but our modern hearth still contains the original tiles that our participants have gathered around for generations.
These tiles and what they symbolize still form the foundation of our work today. During the the holidays we gather to celebrate and share, but also, we reflect and remember. This is what Neighborhood House is today, what we have been throughout our history – a bright light shining in the darkness, a source of warmth and comfort for all families.
Thank you for helping us to make Neighborhood House a beacon of hope for all families.
My warmest wishes for a happy and successful New Year,