By Griffin Jones
“The City of Good Neighbors” has to be the best damn nickname for any city, and Buffalo owns more than its fair share of exceptional monikers. Whether it’s earned or not, it certainly carries an obligation to earn it. From guilt, or from pride, seeing the sign on a Buffalo border street be the nudge your conscious to push someone out of a snowbank.
Reflecting on it even further, could make you want to get involved with the people at Journey’s End. Journey’s End is a Christian community based organization that helps refugees with education, employment, legal services, language learning, and probably more things than they can even think of. How perfect to activate the “City of Good Neighbors” brand in the 21st century.
Refugees add value to Buffalo. For an area with a culture of often feeling sorry for itself, refugees bring a refreshing perspective. If you take one of Journey’s End’s informational tours, you’ll meet people who’ve suffered true tragedy, who are grateful and honored to be in Buffalo. Those are good neighbors to have.
We want our new neighbors wearing Bills jerseys. We want them painting murals on the west side. We want them volunteering for the same projects we serve. We can make (what has to be) a very challenging transition, a little smoother, quicker, and more meaningful if we greet them the way good neighbors do.
Volunteer at even just one event with Journey’s End, or initiate a welcoming conversation with one of the merchants at the West Side Bazaar. If you’ve ever been somewhere new and unfamiliar, you know what a relief it is when a welcoming host approaches with a smile. And what a relief for US…to have something we haven’t had in sixty years: thousands of people moving to Buffalo. Welcome, neighbor. You’re just in time.
Follow @JERSBuffalo to get on the list for the next available tour.
Follow @westsidebazaar to tell them how friggin delicious the food is there.