Welcoming New Board Members

Hello Neighbor is pleased to welcome three new board members! It’s always a great feeling to welcome new faces to our community. These leaders have the same passion for helping our new immigrant and refugee families, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them joining us.

Every American family has a unique heritage, and many have their own immigration story. To highlight the newest additions to our Hello Neighbor family, we’ve asked them each to share a little bit about their own family’s history. Please read their powerful stories below. While you read, we invite you to consider the meaningful stories that led your own family to their Thanksgiving table this year. In the spirit of our newest campaign, Together, We Go Far, we are so glad to help share a little more about what brings us all together this Giving Tuesday season.

Matt Zieger

“My mother was a first generation Italian American, the child of a laborer and housekeeper. Growing up she told stories about how she would be called names or socially excluded because of her heritage. Later, I learned about how my father’s family fled with nothing from Ireland to the US during the great famine. My own family, just a generation or two ago, reminds me that our nation is built on the premise of welcoming new neighbors wherever they may be coming from, and creating a community to help them thrive and build a future.”

Carissa Schively Slotterback

“Most of my family emigrated to the US from Germany and Switzerland in the mid-1800s, settling in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the Mississippi River valley and taking up farming on land taken by the US government from indigenous peoples who had lived in that area. One of the oldest records that we have documenting my family’s arrival is a 1844 Ellis Island ship manifest listing my great-great-great grandfather, 27 year old Christian Schibler Schaublin. The photo features one of his sons and my great-great grandfather Emil Schively (name allegedly changed from Schaublin to sound more German and fit in with their neighbors), my great-great grandmother Mary Niegg (whose parents emigrated from Liechtenstein), and my great-grandfather Frederick Schively”.

Andrea Belen-Sandhorst

“I was born in the Philippines and came to the states when I was 11 months old. My mother has to return to the US when I was 3 month old in order to start a job here and help secure visas for my father and myself. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for her to leave us behind. Thankfully our separation was only for few months but many families aren’t as fortunate as ours.

It was the hope and prospect of making a better life in America that drove her and my father. Luckily they had family members who had emigrated before them so they had an easier time acclimating and we are so thankful to those relatives and our friends we’ve made throughout the years. My hope is to pay forward their kindness and generosity by helping Pittsburgh’s newest neighbors in their transition.”