March 2020
Global Friends Coalition: Educate, Embrace, Empower
Picture drawn by child at a shelter in Juarez, Mexico.

Life Shows us to be Strong

Dear <<First Name>>,
I just returned from a trip to the border of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico with a group organized by a nonprofit in Fargo called, Abriendo Fronteras or Opening Borders. It challenged those of us participating to stay positive because we heard difficult stories from people who are seeking safety and a better life in the United States. When I got back, I received a message from a woman Global Friends Coalition has helped integrate into the United States. She had seen some of my Facebook posts. She reacted to my trip saying, "I'm glad that now you can understand what fear means--that feeling that despite being safe, you never forget because you have it in your skin."

I certainly gained a better understanding of fear, but I would be remiss if I said that I completely understood. Even when our group was denied access to cross the bridge at Juarez to go to El Paso, on a Friday night, I didn't have the same fear that people had who were hoping to cross. The biggest difference: I am a US citizen with a passport.  I saw people waiting at the border, and throughout our week, who did have fear, and tears, in their eyes. There was a great longing for safety conveyed by the women and children we met. One child drew a picture with the caption, "La vida te ensenara a ser fuerte" or "Life shows us to be strong." 

Global Friends Coalition works with people who have been shown how hard life can be. Yet, we see such hope in people. Whether it is someone gaining their driver's permit, their driver's license, an award from their school, or recognition at work. There is hope in people's hearts. 

Your support provides this hope
Through your timegifts, and support, you can make the difference in educating, empowering, and embracing New Americans - it has never been more important.


Cynthia H. Shabb
Executive Director

PS: If you're interested in learning more about this trip, I would be delighted to share more with you. Prairie Public interviewed three of us; listen here.

We are seeking a few volunteers to help make bowls on Saturday, March 7th at 9:30 a.m. Call the office if you're interested--701-746-8233.  

Soup in the Studio
Muddy Waters Clay Center
2014 13th Avenue North
Friday, April 17th
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Art for the Soul, Soup for the bowl
Purchase a hand-thrown, locally designed bowl and enjoy soup from local restaurants.
Call us at 701-746-8233 for more information or if someone is in need of a ride.
Want to learn English?
New Format! Focus is on families.
Mondays & Tuesdays from 5- 6 PM
Kvasager Learning Center
(1802 Continental Drive)

Reading comprehension and discussion; students will be given iPads to use outside of class. 
Free childcare provided.

New American Social Hour
Exercises + Games = Fun!
Thursdays from 1 - 2 PM
Sharon Lutheran Church
1720 South 20th Street (use Door #1)
Call 701-746-8233 for a ride.

Citizenship Classes
Prepare for your US Citizenship interview and test.
Wednesdays from 5 - 6 PM
Kvasager Learning Center
1802 Continental Drive

 Come and Sew!
We provide sewing machines & cloth. Everyone receives a sewing kit!
Tuesdays in March except for the 31st 
1 - 3 PM
Sharon Lutheran Church
1720 South 20th Street (use Door #1)
Free childcare provided.
Call 701-746-8233 for a ride.
Lake Agassiz Elementary School
Mental Health Matters Initiative 
Mental Health Matters Initiative 
Saturday, March 7th, 10 AM - 1 PM
Free food, fun activities, and important information on mental health.
East Grand Forks Campbell Library
AARP Tax Help
Wednesdays & Fridays, 9 AM - 3 PM
Saturdays, 10 AM - 1 PM

Get free tax help from qualified and trained volunteers. No age requirements. Click here to see the list of documents you are required to bring.
Mondays & Wednesdays, 3:30 - 5:30 PM
Free tutoring for students of all ages and level. Bring any materials you'd like to work on.
Tech Help
Tuesdays, 9:30 - 10:30 AM
One-on-one technology help. Bring your device and your questions!

Old East Grand Forks Senior High (1505 Central Avenue NW )
Family Literacy Class
Tuesdays & Thursdays; 11:00  AM - 3 PM
Parent & children time, English & parenting instruction; Lunch
Grand Forks Public Library
Kids Craft Camp - Spring Edition
March 19th, 2 PM - 3 PM
No sign up necessary. Children 8 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. 
STEM Activities
March 29th, 2 PM - 3 PM
A day of physics activities 
Alerus Center
Healthy Living and Sports Expo
Saturday, March 21th, 10 AM - 3 PM
Come out to the Alerus Center with your family for this year's Healthy Living and Sports Expo! Admission is free, there's a play area for the kids, food samples, and things to do and try,
North Dakota Museum of Art
Family Day
Saturday, March 28th, 10 AM to 12 PM
Children of all ages and adults are welcome to work on projects and gain an understanding of the current exhibit in the museum. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated to cover the costs of materials.
 What matters to you?  Schools? Transportation? Hospitals? Data from the census brings in millions of federal dollars into our community, and helps inform planning efforts for all these important community resources. The online Census form will be available starting on March 12th!

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

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