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What Does it Mean to be a Member of International Neighbors in Ann Arbor Michigan?
Dear IN members:
As we continue our journey through 2022 let us as individual women think about why we joined International Neighbors. What does it mean for you to be part of this 63-year-old group of women?
Every country has its heroes and heroines that tried to teach us acceptance, honor and respect for humans, nature and wildlife. From Jane Goodall to Greta Thunberg:
To MartinLuther King: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1964/king/biographical/
To Malala Yousafzai https://www.biography.com/activist/malala-yousafzai
and our local hero that just passed away, January 1st, 2022, Jim Toy, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Toy
The list of heroes and heroines is endless and growing from each country. Let us be part of that list in any way, large or small.
When Esther Dunham and her neighbors discovered that wives and children of graduate students from other countries faced difficulties adjusting and loneliness, they responded by hosting monthly tea groups where they taught the ladies everything from how and where to shop to learning the English language. They founded International Neighbors. They never considered race or religion to be an obstacle to friendship. That has not changed.
You are all part of an amazing organization that makes a difference in hundreds of women’s lives every year.
We do not consider race, sexual identity, politics or religion, we consider only the woman. Her thoughts, her needs, her culture, music and food.
International Neighbors is committed to inclusion and learning. We depend on you, our members, to help the board and president know new directions and requirements so that we do not fall short in representing our members. You are the reason we exist.
I would like us all to ask ourselves what we as a group and as individual women can do this coming year to improve our community here and abroad. How can we be the examples to the many brave learners no matter whether you choose the environment or civil liberties, how can we make a difference?
Let us all commit to reaching out to others and to each other to really learn, to teach, and to accept people for their value as humans and nature as part of our mental well-being and our partner in survival.
We have each other, we are powerful, smart and by the way… very fun. Here is to 2022, the year we make great!
With respect and sincere hope,
Andra Bostian Ferguson- President,
Gratitude and Anticipation
Dear International Neighbors Members:
I am honored to continue in the role of President of International Neighbors representing extraordinary women who have served IN for the past 62 years. Our hope is to have an in person International Day in January. The location, day, and time, will be announced in the next month.
As we move into a new year, we owe a huge thank you to the Board of Directors for their dedication, service and leadership over the past year, as well as to all of our members for giving your time and talents to make the year a success. The current and past pages of the issues of our Newsletters are a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the remarkable women who make up IN.
Despite the uncertainties and obstacles that arose in the last year, our dedicated and creative group leaders found ways to meet outdoors and virtually to keep our members engaged and teaching us about the many cultures represented in International Neighbors.
As I look ahead to the upcoming year and the challenges we will face, I would like to share one of my favorite adages: “Many hands make light work.” There is tremendous power in the size of our membership and the many talents our members bring to this organization. Through our collective action, I am confident we can fulfill our mission and continue to be supportive, fun, and compassionate women of IN.
I would like to take some time in this letter to recognize and quote some words from our founding mothers and long-time members that have given of their time, made generous monetary donations, and represented IN in the community for so many years.
Here you can read and learn more about the amazing women that still comprise IN:
From Phyllis Husted: “The President’s Letter is wonderful. I do not get out any more (I am 96 years old)… I love International Neighbors.”
From Mary Munson: “Thank you for all you are doing to keep this organization alive in tough times”
From Mary Strouss: “I have been a member of IN for 40 years… Now at age 95, I participate as often as able. IN has been an integral part of my life much appreciated and always in my heart.”
From Linda Stegmeyer: “This is a wonderful organization…and it warms my heart!”
From Peggy Burch: “I do miss IN and all the activities & people. Great job during the pandemic.”
From Frankie Simonds: “I joined IN in 1969 serving as English Conversation chairperson, President twice…among many! I am now 89 years old.”
From Anne Sturm: “Thank you for keeping the group connected during difficult times”
From Karen Gilbert: “Incredibly wonderful organization”
From Toshi Fujita: “Thank you for all your work!”
I am thrilled to be working with such an exceptional group of women in the months ahead.
Thank you for allowing me to serve alongside you this year. I truly appreciate your support and encourage you to share any feedback and ideas you may have as we work together in the upcoming year.
Andra Bostian Ferguson –
President, International Neighbors
International Neighbors Mask and Vaccination Policy
All participants are required to wear a mask and be fully vaccinated to attend in-person indoor International Neighbors events. Children too young to be vaccinated can attend International Neighbors events with a vaccinated adult provided they wear a mask.
All guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask throughout your entire visit at any International Neighbors indoor events or meetings.
COVID-19 Update: October 18th, 2021
All participants are required to wear a mask and be fully vaccinated to attend in-person International Neighbors events. Children that are too young to be vaccinated can attend the events, with a vaccinated adult, provided they wear a mask.
If you have not already gotten your flu shot this year, please get one now. You don’t want to risk getting flu and COVID-19 and you don’t want to risk spreading it to anybody else. Getting a flu shot does not cause you to get the flu. It’s very safe.
Message from the Department of Health and Human Services:
If you think you may have been exposed to someone you can get a rapid test. You do not have to have ANY symptoms just check the box that asks if you have been around someone that may have covid19.
CVS is offering free drive-thru testing at two Ann Arbor locations (2100 W. Stadium Blvd. and 1700 S. Industrial Highway) for people with symptoms, as well as asymptomatic workers and asymptomatic individuals who have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19. 1-866-389-2727
Our monthly programs and small groups are held from September through May.
Some groups continue throughout
Activities & Groups?
International Neighbors (IN) are “Neighbors” (local women) who welcome “Newcomers” (women from other countries) into the community through participation in a wide variety of activities. Our monthly programs and small groups are held from September through May.