In 2011, on returning to Michigan from a 5-year stay back in Europe, I started looking for something that could duplicate the international women’s organization I’d belonged to in Switzerland. I didn’t find it. Instead, I found an organization that exceeded my expectations by far. I found a warm welcome from many long-term members from the very first International Day. Those members have a commitment to and enjoyment of an organization that has for many years welcomed women from all nations.
We often have lots of fun at IN events, but IN is more than a social club. As an organization, it recognizes the need to belong to and make connections with the community where new arrivals find themselves. It is the long-term members that have made that possible over the years, building a number of programs that support new arrivals and foster the same commitment to this great organization. Thank you long-term members for your commitment to IN, for the thousands of volunteer hours you’ve given to IN, and, to use a colloquialism, the strong stuff that you are made of. You’ve made a difference to thousands of women over the years.
I’d also like to say thank you to all the newcomers for joining the organization. Arriving at your first International Day can be quite daunting if you come alone, but your determination to belong and the same spirit of welcoming women from all nations, continues to make IN successful. Your own commitment will ensure that the organization survives well into the future. Thank you newcomers for being here and belonging to IN.