The people of the world are in crisis. It seems like there is an ever-increasing number of refugees in the world. There are people leaving their home countries just so they can stay alive. To me, people seem to be scared of refugees because they have the same colored skin as some terrorist groups. Interestingly enough though, I am white, and no one associates me with mass shootings, although mass shootings are predominately committed by white people. However, fear does interesting things to people. To counteract the fear that is flooding through every part of the country, the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to start making a difference right at home.
Pittsburgh has numerous events throughout the year to support all kinds of minorities, and really anyone facing any kind of adversity. As a student at a university right outside of the Pittsburgh city limits, I was not surprised to learn about the organization called Hello Neighbors. The organization's slogan is "Improving the lives of refugees and immigrants by matching them with dedicated neighbors to guide and support them in their new lives". This mission is extremely admirable and, in my opinion, should become standard practice across the United States of America, which is supposedly a great melting pot of cultures.
Now, you might be wondering what this organization and refugees have to do with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Well, the Pittsburgh Pirates have teamed up with Hello Neighbor to host a night that welcomes refugees and immigrants to their beloved city and country. The Hello Neighbor Night includes discounted game tickets for the August 1st game and a free picnic that the team is encouraging people to attend in order to meet their international neighbors.
This is particularly interesting for the Pirates to do, because Pittsburgh's percentage of foreign-born residents is the smallest out of all large metro areas in the country. That fact, along with the fact that Pittsburgh is the first city in America to have a professional sports team provide any kind of aid or support to refugees and immigrants, is truly outstanding. This special night also sets an example for other sports teams to follow.
People are normally scared of something they do not understand it, especially when it comes to different cultures. Educating people about refugees and immigrants might help to reduce the unwarranted fear that is sweeping America. Professional sports teams have a lot of influence in their communities. For a Major League Baseball team to be stepping up to the plate to support refugees and help educate the community is an important occurrence to take note of.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are using their influence to strengthen the bonds in their community. By hosting this event, Pittsburgh has the opportunity to grow and get stronger. It is my hope that many people attend the picnic and not just the game. I also hope that other major sports teams in the country follow the Pittsburgh Pirates' example, and help their community grow stronger through providing opportunities for the members of the dominant culture to bond with refugees and immigrants in order to understand their ways of life.