Thank you for your past coverage of our efforts to learn about and help people who have had to flee their homes and countries in the hope of finding safety and welcome elsewhere.

Two years ago when fires relentlessly consumed our homes and businesses, many of us in the Napa Valley had a taste of what it is like to be forced to leave everything and trust in the hospitality of others. Most of us had a safety net: family, friends or agencies that gave us a place to land. None of us wanted to leave … but there was no choice.

Seventy million people around the world are on the move due to violence, extreme poverty, climate change, corrupt governments and drug trafficking. In the past, we may have found it easier to close our eyes – the numbers are so overwhelming and the borders so far away. It is more difficult to disregard what is currently happening on our own border.

Why are thousands of people leaving the northern triangle of Central America? What is happening on our borders? How can we help?

On Saturday evening, Sept. 21, Grace Episcopal Church and St. Helena Catholic Church have invited two experts: Guilia McPerson, director of Advocacy and Operations at Jesuit Refugee Services USA, and Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, to come and answer these and other questions about the Central American Refugee Crisis.

If you have an interest in these questions, join us at Grace Episcopal Church, 1314 Spring St., St. Helena on Sept. 21. There is no charge for this event but we ask that you preregister at Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-central-american-refugee-crisis-tickets-70586796007?. Light refreshments will be offered at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30, ending at 8 p.m. Child care will be provided.

Julie Garvey

St. Helena Refugee and Immigrant Accompaniment Ministry

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