“If I can look at my life and know that I have made a positive difference in the lives of others, then I feel that I am leading a worthwhile life,” said Janet McFetridge, a member of Plattsburgh Cares.
Plattsburgh Cares is a non-profit organization, run by local residents, that helps refugees fleeing the United States cross the border into Canada in a safe and responsible way.
Champlain, New York is the last village bordering the province of Quebec, Canada, where many of the refugees try to cross. However, some do not have the resources needed to cross in the correct way and this sometimes leads to their arrests.
Plattsburgh Cares is run by a group of Champlain and Plattsburgh residents who care about the wellbeing of the refugees. McFetridge expressed her concern for the refugees before she was even asked to join Plattsburgh Cares.
“As soon as I realized that people were crossing at an irregular border entry into Canada, which was near my home, I became involved,” McFetridge said. “I realized that refugees might need food, water and basic winter wear, so I began to gather supplies and hand things out.”
Plattsburgh Cares has hosted a number of events, such as immigration support training and fundraisers to try and get the community more actively involved and interested in helping refugees.
The group provides clothing, nourishment and even shelter to those who are trying to cross the border into Canada.
McFetridge mentioned how rewarding it felt to help those in need.
“The joy in helping a scared mother find shelter for her children or reassuring a father that legal help is available, are only a few of the small actions which make me feel that what I and the entire Plattsburgh Cares group are doing, will have a strong impact on the future of this refugees.” McFetridge said.
One of the other goals of Plattsburgh Cares is to maintain the image of Plattsburgh to be a safe and compassionate community. They have united with other groups to make sure it stays that way. The group also wants to have a strong connection with the local people.
Plattsburgh Cares will continue to provide safe passage for those who are stuck on this side of the border. The group will also maintain being a coalition of faith, service and activisism.
The group welcomes those who are willing to help and support fellow community members and they also hope to continue to fulfill their goals.
“Our future goals are to continue to provide assistance to immigrants as they arrive in our community in the areas of temporary housing, direct support, and legal direction,” McFetridge said. “We also welcome others joining in this collective effort in any way they are comfortable.”
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