Today is World Refugee Day. Otter Pass was founded by a team of people who have been friends with refugees for a number of years; the tea party picture features the co-founders' middle daughter with some of her best friends who were once refugees. For all of us, World Refugee Day is a special time to celebrate with people who are like family to us. Our company began as a way to support refugee families--we will always give 10% of each purchase to refugee organizations in Austin--and we hope to employ refugees as we grow.
As a new company, it can be difficult to make political stands, but we feel deeply that supporting asylum-seeking and refugee families should not be a partisan issue. It is a humanitarian issue, one that draws from the deepest values our company is built on. We believe all families deserve the chance to grow and thrive.
Some of our closest friends were asylum-seekers who fled violence in their home countries to find a safe place for their children. Our co-founder Jessica Goudeau is writing a book about two refugee women and the history of the resettlement program in the United States. We have heard so many stories over the years of the kind of abuses and persecution that asylum-seekers and refugees fled and the drastic, traumatizing measures they took to save their children's lives.
One of the things we know in the core of our being--any of us would do the same thing to save our own kids.
That's why it's easy for us to take a stand on issues like the family separation policy at the US border, or other tactics that disproportionately impact vulnerable migrants, especially children and families. Even with the president's executive order ending the policy, we remain deeply concerned about the ways that the internationally accepted rights of asylum-seekers have been violated. We will remain vigilant in our desire to do what is right--we think it is possible to maintain a healthy immigration system while still treating everyone with humanity, compassion, and dignity.
Our company is about helping dads--all dads, no matter who they are--stay connected with their kids. It's because of that vision that we will continue to take a stand for families and children. We know it's the right thing to do.
If you'd like to read more about our relationship with refugees, see our "Giving Back" post.
If you'd like a quick overview of the refugee resettlement program and a definition of the terms 'economic migrant,' 'asylum-seeker,' and 'refugee,' read Jessica's 'Refugees 101' post.