Monday, December 1, 2008

Hispanics in Clarksville, TN., show we're givers, too, when it comes to immigrants in America

Last month, The Tennessean newspaper in Nashvile ran a large, front-page photo of Hispanic children waiting in a car parked outside of a food bank while mom and dad were inside getting free food.

The message being reinforced was obvious. Hispanic immigrants come here and take, take, take. The Tennessean front page has had features on local people as patriots on the Fourth of July and laborers on Labor Day. Yet not one American of Hispanic ancestry was featured. Crime and deportation stories, however, feature Hispanics on the front page.

A local councilman, Eric Crafton, has to love the newspaper. He is pushing an English only referendum in the conducting of Nashville business for a Jan. 22 vote.

Thankfully, not all newspapers owned by Gannett Co., Inc. operate this stereotypical way. The following story about Hispanics as givers on Thanksgiving in the Leaf-Chronicle was a most welcome relief when it comes to creating a fair and balanced image of Hispanics in America.

The Hispanic Organization for Progress and Education and its volunteers and sponsors are hoping to put those frightening, stressful thoughts to rest for 50 local families.

"I've never seen people hurting as I have recently," said the Rev. Tommy Vallejos.

"We hope to put an end to their hurting, and that hurting is called hunger pain."

For six years, three consecutively, H.O.P.E. has solicited donations to help create baskets that include everything people need for a Thanksgiving dinner — rolls, sweet potatoes and even a bird.

Last year, the group provided for 30 families.

Board member Rosa Ponce said, as a realist, she wanted about the same number this year, but they decided to set their goal at 45.

"Pastor Tommy said, 'Let's just make it 50,'" Ponce said.

Ponce said it's worth the effort to see the smiles on people's faces when they receive their basket.

She said she called one person letting her know a basket was available for her, and she was humbled by it.

1 comment:

John Lamb said...

Tim, the Leaf-Chronicle appears to be owned by Gannett, as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the Leaf-Chronicle web page and you will see the Gannett logo: