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Dear Friends,

For so many reasons, both good and bad, I will never forget this past August.

There have been moments of great joy within our Hope Acts family, made possible by many of you. At the same time, there is constant stress and uncertainty as the Trump administration continues its relentless attacks and inhumane policies targeted at immigrants.  Thankfully, our community has chosen the path of inclusion, kindness, and support.

We kicked off August with the amazing Richard Blanco who conducted a workshop for our Hope House residents, students and friends followed by public reading. Check out the pictures and story below.  A week later, we received a generous offer of tickets to Ain't Misbehavinfrom Portland Stage. Everyone loved the show. In mid-August we wrapped up our English classes and all of our volunteer activities in support of newly arrived asylum seekers at the Portland Expo. Finally, at the end of August, eighty residents, students, teachers, mentors, and other friends gathered for our annual end of summer barbeque. 

We were glad to include Maine's newest asylum seekers -- those who were temporarily living at the Portland Expo -- in all of our activities this summer and we wish all of them the best as they restart their lives here in Maine.

Thank you to all of you for your support of Hope Acts and for your part in making our community a place where all immigrants are welcome.
 
With gratitude,

Martha Stein
Executive Director
An Evening with Richard Blanco

An Evening with Richard Blanco

On August 8th, Hope Acts hosted renowned author Richard Blanco in an evening that celebrated literature, the immigrant experience, and the services Hope Acts provides to Portland’s own immigrant and asylum-seeking community. 

The evening began with an intimate reading and discussion between Blanco and Hope Acts residents and students in the library at the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine. Selected poems from Blanco’s latest collection, How to Love a Country, resounded with the asylum seekers through words that reflect their own personal struggles of adjusting to a new home in a new country. There were more than a few moist eyes in the audience as Blanco read: 

“Clouds closing like curtains on your country, the last scene in which you’re a madman scribbling the names of your favorite flowers, trees, and birds you’d never see again, your address and phone number you’d never use again, the color of your father’s eyes…”

Hope House resident Daniel moved the audience with his own telling of the immigrant experience. Thanking Hope Acts staff and volunteers by name, the genuine and heartfelt gratitude, as well as his intimate sharing of personal journey, he spoke eloquently concluding with remarks about how welcome he feels in Maine. “Even though it is a state that is very cold, the people who live here have very warm hearts.”

Smiling faces, warm embraces, and happy chatter filled the lobby as Blanco signed books and posed for photos. Congratulations to Deena Weinstein, who won the raffle and lovely handmade “African Queen” quilt that was gifted to Hope Acts.

Huge thanks to our sponsors who made such a lovely and thoughtful evening possible, especially Phyllis Jalbert, Berstein Shur, Coffee by Design, and Norway Savings Bank. Food and drinks were donated by El Rayo Taqueria, Allagash Brewing Company, Capt’n Eli’s, and Whole Foods. Our sincere appreciation to Longfellow Books, Heidi Haseltine - Photography, Ann Casady - Casady Design, the JCA, and Blue Flower Arts for your significant contributions to this event. Lastly, thank you, Richard Blanco, for donating your time and talent to support asylum seekers at Hope Acts.
       Thank you, Portland Stage!
Thank you, Portland Stage, for your kind and generous donation of tickets to Aint Misbehavin.  This was a huge treat. Everyone loved the show!
3rd Annual Hope House Picnic
Hamburgers, hotdogs, good friends and fabulous weather. Our 3rd annual Hope House picnic by the beach was lots of fun as always. Good-bye summer. 
Hope House English Language Program (HHELP) classes begin on September 9th. We look forward to greeting returning and new students, teachers and class assistants. FMI: carolyn@hopeacts.org, 207-274-6005, or stop by our office Monday - Thursday from 9:00 to 3:00.  
Shopping on Amazon.com? Please go to smile.amazon.com and choose Hope Acts. We will receive .05% of your purchase as a donation from Amazon.  THANK YOU!
Here's a really easy way to help Hope Acts!  Would you CLYNK for us?  If you would be willing to turn your recyclables into a donation for Hope Acts (in Maine -- bottles and cans that include a deposit), send an email to martha@hopeacts.org with your mailing address and we'll send you a few bar-coded bag stickers. Put the sticker on a CLYNK bag, fill and return the bag to a participating Hannaford supermarket.  THANK YOU.

Thank you, in advance, for your financial support of Hope Acts. Your donation today provides housing, classes, and a sense of community for immigrants, allowing them to achieve their goals for a successful future. Please visit hopeacts.org/give or mail a check to Hope Acts, PO Box 7615, Portland ME 04112.
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Hope Acts · PO Box 7615 · Portland, ME 04112 · USA

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