May 2020
Global Friends Coalition: Educate, Embrace, Empower

New Ways; Same Mission

Dear <<First Name>>,

When I was a little girl, on May 1st--May Day--we would make baskets with some treats in them for our neighbors. We would then run up to the door, put the basket down, and run away. That's kind of what we are being asked to do today, with COVID-19. We are supposed to stay at least six feet away from each other, and we are not used to doing that! Apparently, this will become our "new normal."

Everything I read about coping mechanisms during COVID-19 says to keep to your schedule, and we are trying to do that in some new ways.  Global Friends board member, Chyna Lynna (featured above) is creating videos for people to practice their English. The videos are being posted on our Facebook page and on YouTube. UND education professor, Hyonsuk Cho, is offering a small Monday/Tuesday night English class via Zoom teaching with culturally relevant books. And, on Wednesday evenings over Zoom, we are offering our advanced citizenship class with Global Friends volunteer, Pat Wilber. I popped into our citizenship class and it felt like a game show! There was conversation, response, and lots of laughter. 

We are still emphasizing the importance of staying home. We realize many people will be going back to work, but there has been an increase in the number of positive cases with COVID-19 so we will not be offering our classes face-to-face in May. We continue to put out videos about staying home during the coronavirus.   We have posted these videos on Facebook. Here's one from board president, Lisa Gibson! The number of videos will grow as we add videos by our Youth Liaisons to help spread the word about being safe. Pramita Ghaley shared why she is staying home.

Global Friends continues to think about creative ways to tackle our mission of fostering refugee integration--and we appreciate all of our supporters who recently gave us monetary gifts in order for us to work directly with New Americans! I have been touched by the notes that accompany donations and am grateful for your trust in our work. We had one couple share their stimulus money with us; which is remarkable.

While we are not yet in the office, we can be reached by phone and email. Call 701-330-0765 or email  
Your continued support provides us hope. Through your gifts, and support, you make a difference. 


Cynthia H. Shabb
Executive Director

PS: While unemployment assistance has been made available, many people with whom we work with get a small weekly amount, because of working part-time. Please keep them in your thoughts. We are figuring out new ways to assist.
Community Resources
City of Grand Forks Virtual News Conferences
Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 2:15 p.m. the City of Grand Forks Mayor, staff, and other community entities update the public on our covid-19 response.

Grand Forks Community Support Facebook Group
This group brings together state and local news and resources every hour. They also answer questions and help coordinate assistance for families in need of supplies.

Grand Forks Food Pantry, Grocery, and Restaurant Resources
Lists food pantries and their hours and procedures for families in need of food assistance. It also lists the new hours for grocery stores, as well as hours and procedures for restaurants operating delivery or curbside pickup.

Grand Fork Housing Authority
Housing is now accepting change of income reporting online, so if you have a Section 8 voucher, or you live in a Housing Authority property, and you've been laid off or have had your hours reduced, report the change to your caseworker right away for immediate relief.

City of Grand Forks Covid-19 Resources
Stay up to date with resources from the City of Grand Forks
City of Grand Forks Facebook
The city is continuously updating residents through their Facebook, too, including live streaming the city's briefings.
North Dakota Department of Health
The Department of Health is leading the fight against Covid-19 at the state level. Stay up to date on the latest news and response through their website.
North Dakota Department of Health Facebook
Their Facebook also posts up-to-date information and livestreams their daily briefings at 10am and 4pm.

Free School Lunch & Breakfast Program
Grand Forks Public Schools is operating a free take-home lunch and breakfast (to take for the next day) program Monday through Friday on days school would normally be in session. Click the link to find distribution sites and times.

Grand Forks Herald
The city's flagship newspaper. They are making all coronavirus-related articles free for readers.
Updated Business Hours
This list compiled by the Herald and the Chamber of Commerce has updated hours for many businesses in Grand Forks.

High Plains Fair Housing
If you believe you're being treated unfairly and having your rights violated by your landlord, reach out to High Plains Fair Housing for assistance.

Firstlink / 2-1-1
Firstlink operates a community resource/crisis hotline. If you call 2-1-1, you can ask questions about where to find certain items, hours for stores or community resources, or just about anything. They are also trained crisis operators, so you if are feeling thoughts of suicide or just need someone to talk to, all people who answer the phone are trained to help.
Frequently Asked Questions / Useful Information
Covid-19 Information
Visit the CDC's website for more information about Covid-19, what you can do to stay safe, and what to do if you're not feeling well.

Visit Global Friend's Facebook page for translated material and videos concerning the virus and how to stay safe.

If you believe you have symptoms of the virus, please CALL Altru's 24/7 Coronavirus Hotline at 701.780.6358 before going into the ER or Urgent Care. They will ask you questions about your symptoms and travel, and have interpreters available, if needed. It is very important that you don't just go to the hospital before calling!

Public Schools
Governor Burgum has declared public schools closed indefinitely. Online education started on April 1st.
For information on the Governor's declaration
For information from Grand Forks Public Schools about online education

Stimulus Checks
More information at
If you make under $75,000 a year (or $150,000 as married couple), are a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen, and are not claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, you may be eligible for a check of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
Tax data and bank account details from your 2019 (or 2018, if you haven't filed 2019 yet) tax returns will be used; if you have not filed taxes and gotten your refund (or paid taxes) through direct deposit, you may want to quickly do that; if the IRS has your direct deposit information, you will likely receive your check sooner. Otherwise, it will be sent in the mail.

If you've been laid off from work due to the Covid crisis, you may be eligible for Unemployment payments. If you're in North Dakota, visit the Job Service ND website for more information, to check eligibility, and to file a claim.

Income Tax Filing
The income tax filing deadline has been extended for everyone to July 15th, 2020. For more information, visit You may still want to file sooner for a quicker refund.
U.S. Census - Help Our Community Receive Vital Funding

You are required by federal law to complete Census Forms. Let us know if we can help!

To learn how census data impact you and your community, visit 2020CENSUS.GOV

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