To be friendless or homeless at the holidays is a fate that most of us dread contemplating; to help someone find shelter and connection is an act of grace embodying what we think of as the Christmas spirit.
One organization in our region whose mission is to practice that particular sort of grace all year long is the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network (UIDN): a grassroots, all-volunteer-run coalition formed by concerned residents and local faith communities to provide a network of safety and support to immigrants, regardless of status. If you’d like to attend a holiday event that exercises your charitable impulses even as it delights your senses, check out Ars Choralis’ New Year’s Eve concert at Kingston’s Old Dutch Church, which will benefit UIDN.
Titled “We All Come from Somewhere,” the program celebrates the rich diversity of the American people via music from many genres, ranging from the African American spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” to Woody Guthrie’s protest song “Deportee” to “Gabriel’s Oboe” from Ennio Morricone’s sublime score to the movie The Mission. Songs by Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen are in the mix as well. Barbara Pickhardt will conduct Ars Choralis, which is observing its 55th anniversary this season.
“We All Come from Somewhere” begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31 at the Old Dutch Church, located at 272 Wall Street in Kingston. Admission is free, but donations to UIDN will be accepted. Your contribution will help the organization provide immigrants with “know-your-rights” information; referrals to legal support and social services; community education and advocacy; safe spaces and sanctuary; clothing, household goods and emergency financial aid; rapid response to ICE actions; and transportation and accompaniment for health care and school- related appointments, court appearances, ICE check-ins and other official meetings. Contributions are tax-deductible when made by check through UIDN’s fiscal sponsor, Holy Cross + Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, 30 Pine Grove Avenue, Kingston NY 12401, with UIDN in the memo, or online at https://ulsterimmigrantdefensenetwork.org/get-involved/donate.
Ars Choralis: We All Come from Somewhere
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 6 p.m., Free/donation
Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall St., Kingston