You don't have to get on a plane to see the world...the world is coming here to the Lehigh Valley. According to a 2016 Morning Call article, "the Lehigh Valley has been one of the fastest growing regions of Pennsylvania over the last five years, but it wouldn't be so without immigrants." To be precise, 88% (12,400 out of 14,000) of the state's growth came from people who moved from beyond the nation's borders. In addition to a large Puerto Rican community, the Lehigh Valley is home to Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. In addition, the local Asian and African communities are growing.
People from all over the world are choosing to make the Valley their home, and we want to make it our mission to help them feel welcome here and give them any support they need to thrive. Here's some ideas for how you could get involved:
ADOPT INTERNATIONAL NEIGHBORS
Many immigrants share that they have never been invited over to an American's home. Let's change that pattern in our neighborhoods, our schools, and our workplaces. You don't have to know everything about their language, their culture, or their country - a simple act of friendship goes a long way. You may never know that your invitation was the difference between them feeling alienated in America, or welcomed in America.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Faith Church will also continue to find ways to welcome and resource individuals who have recently arrived in the Valley from outside of the USA. One way we do this is through our free ESL program. Other future projects may include helping with refugee resettlement and other outreaches to internationals.