Welcoming Week expands on YMCA New American Welcome Centers that build bridges for newcomers to our communities

Minneapolis, MN – The YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will join the Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, other YMCAs and organizations nationwide to celebrate immigrants’ contributions to communities and bring together all residents in a spirit of unity.

Each year, Welcoming Week elevates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of the country. The event is an opportunity for neighbors—both immigrants and U.S.-born residents—to get to know one another and celebrate what unites people as a community.

“This year, we’re reminding our community that “Belonging Begins with Us,” said Bruce Yang, YMCA senior director of responsibility. “Whether it is starting a new job, moving to a new neighborhood or starting a new school, we have all had moments where we felt like we didn’t belong. It’s a universal feeling that we all can relate to but for people who move to this country experiencing language barriers, cultural differences and more, feeling excluded can take years to overcome. We all have the power to help others feel they belong; each of us can help others, regardless of their background, feel like they are seen, embraced, welcomed and included in our community.”

During Welcoming Week, the YMCA of the North will host YMCA National Welcoming Week Virtual Celebration on September 13 at 3:30 p.m. Join attendees from around the globe for this free, virtual event hosted by Y-USA and local Ys featuring exciting music, dance performances, inspiring stories and more. To register, go to register. (registration no longer available)

Welcoming Week will expand upon the work the YMCA of the North is doing in its New American Welcome Centers, which help connect newcomers to community resources and build connections. More than 350 people have been served and connected with 854 vital community resources at the Centers located at the Ridgedale YMCA, Emma B Howe YMCA, St. Paul Eastside YMCA, Blaisdell YMCA, University YMCA and Burnsville YMCA. Case management services include helping immigrant and refugee individuals and families navigate and get connected to vital community resources including housing, driver’s license, social security, food, legal aid and more. Watch this video to learn more about YMCA New American Welcome Centers. For more New American Welcome Centers info, please go to: www.ymcanorth.org/social_responsibility/new_american_welcome_centers

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 165 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcanorth.org.