By Erika

International Neighbors (IN) means family. We are a strong role model of community building and engagement! This year’s celebration of our 60th anniversary not only represents the values of commitment and caring, but also the value of awareness to recognize our uniqueness. International neighbors strive to embrace the uniqueness that each one of us volunteer members brings to it. We are a family that acknowledges womens’ diversity at its core by welcoming members from all over the world. During the past six decades, the seeds of love, empathy, and support planted by the first IN members have grown and we have inherited it.

I remember my first official IN day, it was three years ago. I had only been in Ann Arbor for about a month. Reflecting in retrospective, I felt so much happiness and welcoming to gather with a great group of friends who were local and international neighbors. Sharing bread together was a symbol of collective healing to me. I did not feel alone; instead, I was alone but in the company of many more women who had felt alone at some point. Moving to a new town, city or region is not easy, but International Neighbors members understand that moving and adjusting to life in a new country with a different language is much more difficult.

I am grateful to have been invited to join our family and to have met so many wonderful human beings throughout the years. Whether at IN day, the Spanish group, the Baking group, the Hiking group or volunteering with the Newsletter team, I have always felt as a family member. Welcome to all the new members who joined us this year! Thank you to all of you members who have been unconditionally engaged throughout the years in the various groups. I hope each one of us continues to find the joy, support, and community that create caring connections at International Neighbors.
Let’s celebrate our 60th anniversary in peace, laughter, and music!