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Dear Friends,

Portland Maine made the headlines this month when our small city rolled out the welcome mat for nearly 300 asylum seekers who arrived here a few weeks ago. There has been an outpouring of support for these newcomers who made the long and dangerous journey from Angola and Congo to Maine. 

I am humbled by our Hope House residents, students and immigrant volunteers who immediately signed up to assist the newcomers at the Portland Expo Center translating French, Portuguese and Lingala for medical and city staff.  They also have been cooking and serving African foods to the newcomers.  

In addition to all of the activity at the Expo, it has been quite busy at Hope House. In mid-June, we celebrated the achievements of our Hope House English Program (HHELP) students and recognized our volunteer teachers and assistants at our end-of-semester luncheon. We also launched a pilot of the career-focused, self-paced  Voxy English program, a project of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center's iEnglish Program.

While we share highlights of activity at Hope House and in Portland, not for a moment do we forget the atrocities taking place at the U.S. southern border. We also continue to wait for our state and local governments to provide plans and funding to support new immigrants until they are able to work and live independently. Individually and collectively we continue to raise our voices and advocate for sensible and compassionate immigration policy.

Interested in learning more about Hope Acts?  Please check out our 2018 report below. Feel free to contact me with any questions, or if you would like more information about anything in the report. I can be reached at 207-228-1140, martha@hopeacts.org.

Thank you to everyone, including many new supporters, who have shown your solidarity with asylum seekers by making a donation to Hope Acts. If you haven't already done so, please make a gift today.  As I shared last month:

Hope Acts will be here when the TV cameras leave the Portland Expo center and these newcomers are no longer front-page news. We will be here for any asylum seeker who walks through our door. We will be here until every asylum seeker who wishes to live here has a place in our community to call home. 

With gratitude,

Martha Stein
Executive Director

P.S. SAVE THE DATE! Inaugural poet and Maine resident Richard Blanco will be speaking at a special benefit and book signing for Hope Acts on August 8th.  More details, including ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities will be shared shortly.
HHELP Students and Teachers Celebrate!
"Education is the Most Powerful Weapon"
HHELP Celebrates Students and Volunteers 

 
Hope House resident and HHELP (Hope House English Language Program) student Benedicte addressed the standing-room-only crowd at our end of semester celebration and recognition. She quoted Nelson Mandela by reminding us, “Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world…it has changed my life. At Hope House, the teachers help you to understand life in America. If I do not speak English, I will not develop as well in this country.”

We recognized students with the best attendance in each class and thanked our volunteer teachers and assistants who provide small classes focused on practical communications skills and conversation as well as reading, writing, and comprehension. The festivities included Congolese and Angolese music, and plenty of American and African food. Special thanks to Leonardo’s Pizza, Flatbread Company and Moriah Store for your delicious contributions to our HHELP celebration.

HHELP summer classes start on July 8th. For more information, contact carolyn@hopeacts.org or call 207-217-4456.
Please view Hope Acts' 2018 report. Your financial gifts and many volunteer hours make our work possible.
Asylum Seekers at the Portland Expo Center

Earlier this month, a large group of asylum seekers from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arrived in Portland.  Today's Portland Press Herald provides an in-depth explanation of the horrific conditions that caused these families to flee their home countries.

I am humbled by our immigrant community, including many from our Hope Acts family, who have been volunteering every day since the new asylum seekers began arriving a few weeks ago. This video is a snippet from the many hours of volunteer food preparation that takes place every day.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and donated to this effort. 
SAVE THE DATE

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco
Thursday, August 8, 6:00 pm

Special event and book signing to benefit

Hope Acts


Details coming soon
 
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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