In the Chemical segment of this article, the largest regional manufacturer of nylon is INVISTA, subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., not "Invesco" as shown. INVISTA purchased the global DuPont Textiles businesses in 2004, and has substantially grown and strengthened their position. A small DuPont specialty polymers business retains a presence at the INVISTA facility in Chattanooga.
This article overlooks most of the good that Bridge does: First, the families in the program were in substantial physical danger in their original locations. Some that we’ve met had family members killed because of their service to the US military. They have chosen to seek new opportunity in America much like our early settlers did. The inconveniences of establishing life in a new language, new location, and new culture cannot be compared to the loss of life itself if they hadn’t come.
Second, the focus on Cuban examples neglects the many other nationalities involved in the program. We’ve met at least a dozen refugee families in Chattanooga so far, and none of them happened to be Cuban. The program actually does reflect the great melting-pot that America always has been.
Third, the article suggests that clients had been promised more than they found on their arrival, and conveys the hopes that we all have as if they were needs. But when several agencies get involved to make this relocation process work, translating an accurate preview of their new situations becomes difficult. The grass always looks greener on the other side, especially when there’s danger behind you. Every refugee family must learn to realign some of their off-target expectations as part of their normal adjustments.
A closer look would show that Bridge operates as frugally as any of the local charities, passing through to its clients all the benefits it can muster. Apartments are furnished much like our young adult children do as they strike out on their own. Improvement comes the real American way—with patience and effort, not from entitlement. The clear goal is to help the refugee families become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.
So the best response of a thoughtful reader might be “How can we help these people?” Churches are one route to sponsorship, but so are civic organizations, Scouts, neighborhood associations, small businesses, or any group that can gather up a small household’s worth of furnishings and find a few hours of time for kindness. In our experience, sponsorship has not only benefited several refugee families, but has returned to us friendships enriched by the cultures and individuals that we would not otherwise encounter.