YMCA plans welcoming week to support immigrants

More than 42 million foreign-born individuals call the United States home today, a number greater than any other in history, and there’s never been a more important time for them to be welcomed with open arms.

At the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, they firmly believe that it’s crucial for immigrants to have access to integration methods and that receiving communities are prepared to welcome all.

The Y’s Welcoming Week, which takes place Sept. 15-24, promotes cross-cultural understanding and inclusiveness awareness via community events, celebrations and classes at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s seven branches.

Among the many events is World Celebration Day at the Upper Main Line YMCA, 1416 Berwyn Paoli Road, Berwyn (Pa.), 19312, on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. – noon. There will be African and Indian-style dance performances, a drumming techniques presentation, and a yoga demo, among many others. There will also be a reading of children’s stories from around the world.

An Open House & Tour Night on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 4-7 at the Upper Main Line YMCA gives people an opportunity to learn more about the Y’s programs and facilities.

YMCA member and author Jennifer Ozgur will read an excerpt of her book, “One Million Kisses,” at the Lionville Community YMCA at 100 Devon Drive, Exton (Pa.), 19341, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21. Ozgur’s writings have been featured in multiple publications, and One Million Kisses is a must-have for new parents to raise their children to know that they are loved.

A Community Event takes place at the Brandywine YMCA at 295 Hurley Road, Coatesville (Pa.), 19320 on Sept. 21 from 5-7 p.m. Local organizations will have tables on hand and distribute information about valuable resources available to the community.

“I am unique because ….”, a community celebration with food from around the world, arts and crafts, live music and information tables, highlights the cultural inclusiveness theme on Friday, Sept. 22 from 6-8 p.m. at the Oscar Lasko YMCA at 1 East Chestnut Street, West Chester (Pa.), 19380.


Finally, a Hawk Migration Watch and Raptor Presentation is set for Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Upper Main Line YMCA (1416 Berwyn Paoli Road, Berwyn (Pa.), 19312. Behold the fall migration flight of falcons, hawks and eagles as they head south.

“The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is for everyone, and Welcoming Week is the perfect way for us to invite everybody in the community to come together,” YMCA of Greater Brandywine COO Andi Youndt said. “Both YMCA members and non-members alike can participate in our many events that are geared toward fostering inclusiveness and showing that we welcome everyone with open arms to our Y community.”

There are plenty more events that appeal to everybody in the community. Visit ymcagbw.org/welcomingweek for full information.

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