Hello from the Blog Team!

Welcome to the Welcoming Michigan Blog! We hope these updates give you a taste of the wonderful activities taking place across Michigan to build immigrant-friendly communities. Please check back frequently for posts!

 

"As a worker at a shelter for homeless women and children I worked with the social services coordinator to welcome a homeless Mexican family into our shelter. 'Monica's' husband had been deported. She and her U.S. citizen children, 'Amy' age 7, 'Lori' age, 5 and 'Jenna' age 2 had no where safe to live. 'Monica' spoke little English. She and her three girls were welcomed with open arms and received free clothing, food, transportation, medical services and day care services. 'Monica' has since improved in speaking English by taking free ESL classes.

"In the community I live in there aren't really 'new neighbors' everyone has pretty much lived there. But my next door neighbor is elderly and has no family. For Christmas we sent her a Christmas Card and put a $20.00 Target gift card in it. I am not sure what her income is but she never has visitors. So this year it is going to be my goal to have my kids go brighten her day by visiting her if she will allow it. She is so used to being over at her house by herself. But we want her to know she is not forgotten and we are here for her."

"I was welcomed once and I never forget that. Now I always try my best to be caring, and helpful for others. It's not easy to be the "new" neighbor" but thank God it is always nice when people make you feel great and bienvenido!"

Here is a truly heartwarming tale shared by one generous Michigan family: "I worked at Freedom House, in Detroit from 2001 to 2003. As you might know, Freedom House is a shelter for men, women, and families who are seeking asylum in the United States or Canada. One summer a young man arrived from the Congo. He had been imprisoned and tortured for two years due to the political situation in his country. This was his first summer at Freedom House. While he was adjusting to life in the US, he was struggling a bit with living in an urban area.

Tell us a welcoming story and ENTER TO WIN 2 tickets to see African singer Angélique Kidjo at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor at 8pm on 2/1/13! Share a story in brief paragraph form about welcoming immigrants or refugees, taken from your personal life or witnessed in the community, and replacing names or identifiers if necessary. One submission will be selected at random and announced on Jan 25th. Post your story at www.facebook.com/welcomingmichigan, or email to csauve@lsscm.org.

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Meet Jennie! She is an awesome leader and truly a welcoming ambassador. She manages a local TimeBank and shares our belief in the power of connecting neighbors to neighbors.

My name is Daliesha and I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. The maternal side of my family migrated from Bolivar, Tennessee. My maternal great granddad was African American and Native American (Cherokee).

Have you met Hanan Yahya, a member of the Welcoming Chadsey Condon group? She says "cultural competency is vital to creating a more vibrant and healthy community". Here is her story: "I was born the eighth child of nine in my hometown of Yemen.

Have you ever been to a naturalization ceremony? It is a very moving and inspiring experience. Sterling Heights recently held their 4th annual Naturalization Ceremony in conjunction with Sterlingfest.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month - get to know your Asian Pacific American neighbors! Check out these local and national resources to learn more about the Asian Pacific American community and find local events happening near you.

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