Kindness of Strangers: America’s Pastime
Baseball is truly one of the great American pastimes.
And when you get the full experience of going to a professional baseball game, it is not just the game that is exciting. It is the thrill of being with family and friends for a fun day of entertainment, food, and new sights and sounds. Nothing says summer like baseball, and for many families in Lansing, summertime fun includes an outing to a Lugnuts baseball game, our local single A league professional team.
One of the major corporations in the area, Delta Dental through their Delta Smiles program, recently hosted 24 clients from our refugee resettlement programs, for their very first all-American baseball experience. Their response was unexpected. They didn’t comment on the game, the food, or the fun – although all of those things were great. It was how they were treated at the baseball game that made an impression.
Imagine, if you will, being a stranger in a strange land and coming from a place where, as one client said “…in our country we were forced to hate others and hate America in particular because it is against the humanity, however, the reality is totally opposite.”
What they experienced was the kindness of strangers. “We never witnessed this experience back home. When someone goes out of their way to make someone else feel good it is really acts of kindness. What we received at the Lugnuts baseball game was a priceless medicine of fun, freedom and lots of support. They made us feel happier and better about ourselves.”
At St. Vincent Catholic Charities, we are blessed to be in a position to guide over 600 refugees per year to a life of true freedom. The work of helping to resettle refugee families requires hundreds of hours of support, the kindness of corporations like Delta Dental, and many generous individual donors. Our mission is Providing Help and Creating Hope – for 24 individuals on a warm, sunny day in July it was mission accomplished.