Welcome. It's a simple word, really. Two syllables. Good consonant/vowel balance. Appropriate in a multitude of settings. But, for such a simple word, a good, heartfelt "welcome" can mean the world.
It's this simple premise that spawned Butterfly Boxes. A call from one sister-in-law to the other to ask about babysitting turned into shared concern about the future of social issues in this country, particularly that of refugees fleeing often dangerous and inhumane situations to seek a safe and prosperous life here. The refugee experience was not new to us (as you can read in "Our Story"), but when brainstorming what role we could play in spreading love back out into the world, it seemed obvious that this is where our focus is meant to be. Dreamed up in that phone conversation - no longer about babysitting - was an idea to greet refugees as they arrive in our city with a box, made by members of their new community wishing to say, "Welcome". That box would include the simple things anyone traveling long distances would want - snacks, water, toiletries - but also items meant to bring comfort, hope, love - a stuffed animal, a hand knit baby hat, a note of welcome. Most importantly, that box would be a message from the community that our new arrivals are welcomed, loved, and home.
A butterfly moves through stages in its life. Caterpillar to butterfly, with time in the chrysalis in between. One stage is not more important than any other, but all are necessary in making a life. For refugees leaving all that they have known behind to find a new place in a new home, it's a bit like taking flight with wings you are still stretching and learning to use fully. What came before - the caterpillar - is still there, still a part of the whole, but the butterfly can finally feel free to take flight.
Welcome to our cause. Thank you for supporting Butterfly Boxes.
- Alysson and Adrienne
Alysson and Adrienne
Two sisters-in-law, spreading hope and welcome in Portland, OR.