Does your family have a welcoming story to tell?

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. He kept talking about wanting to see a forest and be in nature. It just so happened that my family was going to Mackinac Island the following week to our family’s cottage for the 4th of July and I thought he might like to join us. Although that week is typically 'reserved' as a family-only week, my family welcomed him with open arms! My new Congolese friend got to experience the beauty of northern Michigan, swim in the Straits of Mackinac, walk through quiet forests, and celebrate the 4th of July with his new friends. A year later my friend told me that week saved his life and gave him the emotional strength to continue his difficult transition of settling in the United States." Submit 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, or email to We can't wait to hear about all the wonderful ways Michiganders are welcoming new residents across the state!