EDITORIAL: York welcomes refugees

York Dispatch
  • Parliament's Summer Art Market showcased the growing art scene in York.
  • York County proves, overall, to be a diverse and accepting community.
  • Cheers to Janine Guido who nursed emaciated puppy Libre back to health (and adopted him, too).

Thumbs Up: To Church World Services for reuniting a Congolese family and settling them in York County.

Elizabeth Abecca and her two-year-old daughter arrived in York County June 29, leaving behind eight family members living in a Tanzanian refugee camp — where they had lived for nearly 20 years.

Congolese refugees, from left, Anyesi Chala, Ramadhani Pierre, 9, and Mbeleci Mmassa, 15, give some attention to Mlasi Tipa, 2, after arriving at the Lancaster Airport in Lititz, Monday, July 25, 2016. Mlasi has been in York County with her mother, Elizabeth Abecca, 24, since June 29, where the two have been waiting for the rest of Abecca's family to arrive from the refugee camp in Tanzania where they have lived for nearly 20 years. Stony Brook Mennonite Church is helping the family integrate into American society. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Christine Baer and other Church World Services workers arranged for U.S. State Department background checks for the family members and a flight to the area.

One of Church World Services' goals, Baer said, is for the refugees to be able to handle their own affairs in a relatively short amount of time. The refugees will take cultural orientation classes to help settle into American life.

Halfway across the world, refugees reunite in York

Baer said the family will live in a home in the Central School District.

With the recent political tirades about immigration, this story reveals that York County is an accepting, diverse community.

Thumbs Up: To the Parliament Arts Organization and its first Summer Art Market which ran last weekend. The event showcased local artists whose galleries and studios lined the streets of Royal Square.

Shawan Rice, of Shawan & the Wontons from Harrisburg, performs during the Summer Art Market in Royal Square, Sunday, July 31, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

"The goal was to bring new people downtown and to show them what the community has going on," Parliament's programs director Stacy McClain said.

And that’s just what it did.

Summer Art Market a hit downtown

Thousands, including many who have not been to downtown York, attended the event which featured vendors, live musicians and food trucks.

The Summer Art Market showcased the growing art scene in York and reflected a vibrancy city supporters are working hard to maintain.

Thumbs Up: To the love affair between Speranza Animal Rescue founder and Libre, the emaciated Boston terrier puppy she had nursed from the brink of death.

Libre and Janine Guido. (Photo courtesy of Dillsburg Veterinary Center)

"I just really connected with him. I don't know why, because I've rescued so many dogs," said Janine Guido.

The puppy was brought to her Mechanicsburg facility last month suffering from mange, dehydration and swollen, ulcerated eyes after being rescued from an Amish dog breeder.

Guido refused to euthanize the puppy.

She sought out veterinary services at the Dillsburg Veterinary Center and the dog is almost ready to come home.

"He's my little bug-eyed miracle boy," Janine said.

Dillsburg Veterinary Center continues to accept donations to help offset the costs of caring for Libre.